BTU, DPSM clash over levels of operations

Nicholas Mokwena - BG reporter
Tuesday, 22 September 2015
BTU, DPSM clash over levels of operations

Botswana Teachers’ Union (BTU) has recalled all its members who were made part of the task force team that was to carry out the job evaluation assessment on Primary School Senior Teachers.

The Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) has indicated that unlike other teachers, senior teachers at primary schools should go through job evaluation assessment before a decision can be made whether or not to extend Levels of Operation (LOO) scheme to them. The LOO scheme is meant to review the salary grades of all teachers and to align them with general practice elsewhere in the public service. LOO is a remuneration dispensation which seeks to promote social labour justice by recognising the need to level the paying structure of a more or less homogenous value chain job, so that no cadre is disadvantaged. 

In a strongly worded letter addressed to the Director of DPSM, Ruth Maphorisa on 14th September 2015, BTU Secretary General, Ibo Kenosi opposes the arrangement. Kenosi said it was never the intention and purpose of LOO that entitlement will be based on job evaluation assessment. “The requirement for a job evaluation assessment is an additional requirement that was never part of the original content of the LOO scheme. This additional requirement is unlawful and irregular, and BTU does not accept it”, stated Kenosi. He advised that the BTU will not participate in any job evaluation assessment that is aimed at determining whether or not LOO is extended to Primary School Senior Teachers. “To this end the union is recalling any and all of its members who had formed part of the Task Force that was to carry out the job evaluation exercise.

BTU urges your office to consider the extension of LOO to Primary School Senior Teachers only on the basis of the Joint Position Paper agreed and no other requirement”, he said. He told this publication that negotiations were conducted and concluded for LOO for secondary schools and the scheme was given to teachers across board. He wondered why now things have to change for primary schools. Kenosi explained that primary school teachers on the other hand fell behind on the implementation and senior teachers based at primary schools are to date yet to benefit from the LOO. “A position paper which was jointly prepared by the BTU and the Ministry of Education and Skills Development and the Finance Department within the same ministry, recommended proposals aimed at addressing the situation of Primary School Teachers.

These recommendations were to be submitted to the DPSM office for implementation. Now we are surprised that at the time when implementation was to be done DPSM requires job evaluation assessment to be made”. Maphorisa could not be reached for comment as she was said to be in a meeting. According to the position paper of September 2015 by BTU in reference to senior teachers at primary schools, the education ministry should correct the labour injustice by implementing LOO uniformly as at secondary schools level. It also proposes that the ministry should adjust the remuneration levels in accordance with the implemented LOO for secondary schools. The paper further wants senior teachers to be remunerated for the administrative work load they do by giving them a negotiated allowance.

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