27 March 2014

Botswana: Khama Announces Increment

press release

H.E. President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has announced a four per cent salary increment for public servants effective April 1. Addressing public servants at Kachikau in Chobe District this week, President Khama said the announcement did not mean that negotiations at the Bargaining Council had been closed.

"We found it fair to give public servants a four per cent increase. However, I must stress that this does not mean that negotiations at the Bargaining Council have been closed off," he said.

He expressed worry that negotiations took too long, which resulted in increments taking effect in the middle of the financial year. He said such a scenario messed up the budget as government was then forced to back date payments.

H.E. President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has announced a four per cent salary increment for public servants effective April 1. Addressing public servants at Kachikau in Chobe District this week, President Khama said the announcement did not mean that negotiations at the Bargaining Council had been closed.

"We found it fair to give public servants a four per cent i...ncrease. However, I must stress that this does not mean that negotiations at the Bargaining Council have been closed off," he said.

He expressed worry that negotiations took too long, which resulted in increments taking effect in the middle of the financial year. He said such a scenario messed up the budget as government was then forced to back date payments.

"We do not want to have to back date payments as we did with the three per cent increment in 2011," said President Khama. He told civil servants that government would continue negotiating for better salaries, but will always commit to giving affordable increments.

He added that public servants who were not affiliated to unions must not be disadvantaged by those who were affiliated. He further said government had to exercise caution and always keep the wage bill under control to avoid mistakes made by other countries such as Kenya which over paid public servants.

President Khama further told public servants that government could not afford to pay public servants the 16% they were demanding because there was need to retain jobs.

"When the recession hit hard, most countries had to retrench employees but we did not do that. No one lost their job. We could not pay you the 16 per cent that you wanted because we wanted to retain jobs," he said. He further told public servants that government could not solve all their problems at once as it also had loans that needed to be serviced.

He acknowledged the existence of various problems in the public service, including shortage of accommodation, which affected morale and productivity.

Regarding progression, President Khama said government had decided to emphasise more on performance than on academic qualification, such that those with certificates and diplomas could now compete for posts with degree holders.

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