Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Govt accedes to Union pressure to promote officers

The Ministry of Local Government has agreed to elevate the salary structures of Community Development Officers. This follows engagements between the Botswana Land Boards Local Authorities and Health Workers Union. 

The union’s secretary general Ketlhalefile Motshegwa said they expect the Ministry to “instruct local authorities to promote the affected officers accordingly retrospective to the date they should have progressed to new level.” 

He said BLLAHWU remains dedicated to fighting relentlessly and gallantly for the rights and welfare of workers and we shall win these battles for the victory of workers.” 

Some of the concerns and proposals the union had lodged with Ministry of Local Government & Rural development include among others progression of the Community Development Officers (extension) from C3 scale to C2. 

The union argued that since the “officers were appointed in 2018 at C3 scale, there exists a legitimate expectation that they will be promoted to C2 in line with the multiple graded and titling system.” 

“The DPSM Job evaluation panel sat on the 27th May 2021 to consider positions of Community Development Officer II (C2) and Community Development Officer I (C1). But due to the similarities on the proposed jobs, it was resolved to defer them to the next panel meeting scheduled on 29 July 2021 at 0930 to cater for correction and verification,” he says. 

It also stated in a letter addressed to the ministry that, “It has come to our attention that ever since 2018, officers with AAT level 4 and diploma within the internal audit cadre are stacked at C1 level and are denied the opportunity to progress to D4 and D3 scale. This is evidenced by the fact that in all adverts, local authorities require only degree holders to apply for D4 and D3 posts. The union believes that this is unfair and contradicts the principle that that Diploma holders can advance to D3 scale.” 

In response, Ministry stipulated that it was cognizant of the anomaly as such will advise local Authorities to consider Diploma holders to also compete for D4 and D3 positions.

Another issue that the union raised that was that “It came to our attention that craft improvers (mechanics) are underpaid as they are paid at A2 scale instead of A1 as per Public Service Management Directive no. 4 of 2004 which suggests that entry to the craft improver post is A1.”

The Union also expressed concern that it had noticed that there is a discrepancy/ inconsistency in the headship of department across councils and Sub councils as some council are headed by D2 while others D3, D4 and C1 scales respectively. The union therefore requested that there be standardization/ uniformity in the headship more so that the officers are performing the same duties. Furthermore, it is evident that there are some structural gaps within cadres that need to be addressed.

The Ministry acknowledged that indeed there exists some gaps in some cadres as such they are working around the clock to close such gaps. They have since requested for positions from DPSM in order to fill the gaps.

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