A savingram from the office of the Director of Public Service Management, (DPSM) Cater Morupisi grants officers holding Diploma in accounting qualifications and employed in accounting positions to earn scarce skills allowance.
The accounting officers will earn scarce skills allowances at the rate of 25 percent of their basic salary.
The move is seen by political pundits as another strategy for the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to win the civil servants to their side on an election year. In the past only selected accounting officers from the Ministry of Finance were paid the scarce skill allowance while accounting officers from other Ministries holding the same qualifications were denied the allowance.
Contacted to react to the saving gram Morupisi confirmed the allowances.
“We saw it fit to pay all officers holding Diploma in accounting qualifications across all the Ministries scarce skill allowances. The move to pay those allowances was to address the inconsistencies that have been there where only some accountants in the Ministry of Finance were paid the allowance,” he said.
Morupisi said the move has nothing to do with elections.
“This has nothing to do with elections. We were only addressing the inconsistencies that have been there,” he emphasized.
BOFEPUSU deputy secretary General Ketlhalefile Motshegwa said Morupisi should stop his tendency of bypassing the bargaining council.
“Whether it is a good or a bad move for workers we are saying all procedures must be followed. Morupisi has this habit that when workers complain instead of bringing the matter to the bargaining council he does things on his own, he must respect the procedures and institutions that are there,” he said.
Motshegwa said there are problems when it comes to issues of scarce skills as even the government does not know who is supposed to get scarce skills allowances and who does not qualify for scarce skills.
“As we speak there are those who deserve to be paid scarce skills allowances but are not paid. At the same time there are those who are being paid scarce skills allowances but do not deserve it. It is only at the bargaining council that issues like these can be addressed but it is going to be a challenge if Morupisi is going to do things on his own,” he said.
However Motshegwa said the accountants deserved scarce skills allowances. He said it was one of the issues they raised at the bargaining council and was still to be debated. To their surprise Morupisi has issued a savingram.