Three top most senior civil servants received a windfall on April 1 after being awarded salary adjustments amounting to hundreds of thousands of Pula, reaching 23.12 per cent increment to basic salaries in some instances. Salaries of Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi and Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo ballooned by P201 792 from P670 896 to P872 688 per annum, being an equivalent of monthly earnings of P72 724. Hot on their heels is Justice Ian Kirby – the President of the Court of Appeal, who will now get a basic salary of a whooping P765 516 per annum or P63 793 per month. Resident judges of the Court of Appeal – Isaac Lesetedi and Monametsi Gaongalelwe – on the other hand complete the elite list, with a mouth-watering P671 508 per annum which translates to P55 959 per month. Joining the judges of appeal on the same salary is Deputy Permanent Secretary to the President. Justifying the increment, the Director of Public Service Management (DPSM), Ruth Maphorisa said the inclusion of the grade of the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA) and Resident Justice (RJCA) and the introduction of Deputy Permanent Secretary to the President (DPSP) eroded the grade differentials between the grades from FO to CJ/PSP. Therefore, the adjustment is meant to align the grade differentials with the rest of the grades from E2 upwards.
Basic salary New basic salary
PSP/CJ 670 896 872 688
PCA 643 452 765 516
RJCA/DPSP 616 056 671 508
FO 588 516 588 516
F1 516 264 516 264
[Source: Government Savingram]
The National Organising Secretary of the National Amalgamated Local, Central Government and Parastatal Workers Union (NALCGPWU), Johnson Motshwarakgole, who also doubles as the Labour Secretary for Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) does not hide disappointment with the decision. "This confirms what we have always been saying in response to claims that government does not have money. That increment for two public servants amounts to almost half a million, which could increase salaries for thousands of ordinary workers in the lower cadres. The argument by government (at Public Sector Bargaining Council) that the economy is struggling has just been diffused," fumed Motshwarakgole. In fact, Motshwarakgole reveals that they have already notified the Attorney General about their intention to sue government over the management of judges' salaries and allowances. He said salaries and allowances of judges are provided for in the Constitution and cannot be tampered with by government officials without complying with Constitutional provisions. Motshwarakgole accuses government of adjusting the salaries in bad faith under the pretext that an addition of new positions has disrupted it. "Why is the adjustment only being done at the top? What criteria are they using? If any new changes destabilise the structure, the rest of the salary structure should be aligned," he said.
Blocking the 4% increase
BOFEPUSU on Friday filed an urgent application to interdict a four percent increment in the salaries and related allowances of non-unionised public servants, which was announced by Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter Morupisi, on Wednesday. Deputy Secretary General Ketlhalefile Motshegwa said the federation will use a recent judgment where court ordered BUAN management to award salary increment to all staff members. BUAN management had awarded the increase to non-unionised employees only, arguing that salary negotiations had not been concluded with the trade union representing some of their employees. "It is opportunistic and bad faith for government to refuse to continue negotiations at PSBC claiming that they await court decision to clarify the scope of the bargaining council yet they proceed to award a salary increase to a section of its employees. The decision on the scope is going to affect all public servants, at least those who qualify to belong to trade unions with the exception of discipline forces," said Motshegwa. Together with the salary increase Morupisi announced that government has awarded a housing and upkeep adjustment of P100 to all employees of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) and Police and Prison Services, along with the Directorates of Intelligence and Security (DIS) and Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), to specified officers being the Chairperson and other members of the Public Service Commission, the Attorney General, Auditor General, Secretary of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), Director of Public Prosecutions, Judicial Service Commission and to Dikgosi, as well as to non-unionised members of the public service.
• Dikgosi have been graded upwards by one level on the salary scale e.g. Dikgosi previously graded at D1 will now be graded at E2.
• Councillors’ Housing Allowance: A new monthly housing allowance of P1,200.00 is to be introduced that will now cover all ordinary Council members
• Social Grant Increase: With regard to Social Grants, an increase by P100 a month has been authorised for: Old Age Pensioners, from P330.00 to P430.00, World War II veterans, from P450 to P550, Home Based Care, from 202.80 to 302.80, Umbrella Village Development Committee (VDC), from P240.00 to P340.00, VDC, from P220.00 to P 320.00, Ipelegeng Increment: Supervisors from P620.00 to P651.0, Ordinary members from P540.00 to P567.00. Morupisi said Government is currently restrained from extending any upward adjustment in the salaries or related allowances to members of the public service who are members of unions admitted to the Public Service Bargaining Council. He said it is the intention of Government to place before the PSBC a proposed 4% adjustment in the salaries and related allowances, as well as a P100 increase in the upkeep and Housing Allowance for all other categories of public servants who fall within the Bargaining Council’s mandate. "Due to administrative challenges in dealing with overtime, Government also intended to submit a proposal to pay employees within the D to A band who regularly earn overtime a 10% monthly commuted overtime or P250, whichever is greater, as well as a monthly fixed overtime at the rate of P250 for all other employees who would not normally work overtime," he said. In response Secretary General Tobokani Rari said the conduct by government is not only inconsistent, but also malicious, resembling bad intentions and reminiscent of hypocrisy of the highest order. He said Morupisi is a power-monger who has usurped the powers of DPSM and sidelined its Director to make an erratic and outrageous pronouncement contrary to established procedure. Rari said Morupisi is the one who misleads government on issues of the PSBC and public service in general. He precipitates divisions within the public service and is the reason for the low morale in the public service, he said. "Morupisi is imprinting a regrettable legacy of a divided and demoralised civil service. Under his tenure as Director of DPSM and PSP we have witnessed regression, nepotism, maladministration and rising institutionalised corruption. It is clear that Morupisi is responsible for the current mess in the public service and therefore not fit for office. He should voluntarily resign, failing which we call on the President to relieve him of his duties," he said.
The 3% salary increase
The hefty adjustment for the highest paid civil servants will add to the four percent increment awarded by government on Wednesday to all non-unionised public servants and cadres in the discipline forces. Unionised public servants, who have been waiting for their adjustment since last year, are currently locked in 2016/17 salary negotiations expected to resume after the High Court rules on the scope of the PSBC in May. Trade unions are demanding a 13.5 percent increase while government is only offering three percent. Government has repeatedly argued that the three percent awarded is based on the poor performance of the economy. However, trade unions insist that the economy is healthy enough to support a bigger increase to ameliorate inflationary erosion to income suffered by public servants in the years government did not increase their salaries.