'No more working after hours'- teachers

SHARE   |   Monday, 07 November 2016   |   By Staff Writer
Rari Rari

Teachers have reacted with anger at the decision by government to place a 10% moratorium on overtime, and have resolved to "cease to be engaged after hours or work overtime in response to this unilateral draconian moratorium". Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, Dr Theophilus Mooko, dispatched a savingram date 23rd August 2016 to all Directors announcing additional measures to contain public spending. To justify the decision he said such drastic measures are consistent with the government fiscal policy of effective expenditure management and control. "No employee should be allowed to earn overtime in excess of 10% of their basic salary and the total expenditure on overtime should not exceed 10% of personal emoluments. Reduce expenditure on workshops and seminars. Reduce spending by avoiding travelling during weekends save for emergency services," reads the savingram.

In addition, Dr Mooko instructed that energy and water saving devices should be installed in all offices and institutions and that leaks be attended to promptly. Last week Botswana Sectors of Educators Union (BOSETU), Secretary General Tobokani Rari, said Mooko's circular savingram borders on illegality as issues of overtime are regulated by an Act of parliament – the Employment Act. As such we hold that no one including the PSP has the right to put further restrictions on what parliament has regulated, said Rari. "We put it to the PSP and all other proponents of this 10% regulation of overtime, which overrides the Employment Act to come out clear and avail the authority upon which they derive such a moratorium that in our view infringes on an Act of Parliament. The repercussions would be felt on the final year results," said Rari.     

Rari further said they foresee chaos that would be caused by the savingram. If teachers are to stick to the moratorium not to accrue any overtime pay in access of 10%, a lot of work would suffer. "For instance, the bulk of the teachers are in C band salary scales of an average pay of about BPW14, 000 and if we are to stick to the moratorium that they should accrue overtime pay of not more than 10% of the salaries, it would then mean that, in a month, the total money that they could claim would be about P1, 400.00 which translates to only about 3 overtime hours in month. This definitely would mean that for teachers they would on average in a month work overtime in only two days which would leave a great deal of work suffering. Definitely such uninformed blind decisions would come to be felt when final exams come out. The result is that teachers would ease to carry out official duties after hours. Supervision of course work projects, remedial lessons, enrichment activities, sporting activities will bear the brunt and would be greatly affected.