Government to review scarce skill allowance

The government is in the process of reviewing the scarce skills allowance to address the concerns it has brought since its implementation, the Director of the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM), Carter Morupisi has revealed.
He said that though scarce skills allowance brought joy to the public service at the time it was introduced, it is not working the way the government thought it would. The DPSM boss noted that though it was initially meant for scarce cadres, the entire public service now want to benefit from it.
“Scarce skills allowance is now not working the way the government wanted because most of the professions apply for it despite the fact that they do not qualify, so we are working around the clock to see what could be done to end the confusion among the public servants,” he said.
Morupisi was cagey when asked about the proposed review of the scarce skills allowance, he only said that they have already compiled a report on the review but was not in a position to go into details. He told Northcast that it will be improper to disclose the contents before presenting them to cabinet for review. “The report is finished and is only awaiting presentation to cabinet for review, which means I cannot avail it before it reaches cabinet,” he said.
Meanwhile, the workers unions have said that they were sidelined during the review. They say they were never consulted about the looming amendments, arguing that since they are key stakeholders , they are supposed to be involved initially when there is any development.
Botswana Federations of Public Sectors Union Deputy Secretary General, Ketlhalefile Motshegwa told Northcast that as unionists they are not aware of the looming scarce skills allowance review, but was quick to point out that if it is true they will not be surprised because it is the ongoing trend of the government. “This ongoing trend of the government of not consulting the unions whenever there is a development has long been adopted so we are not surprised. This shows that the government does not support the Bargaining Council where these issues should be discussed,” he said, adding that if there is any development in the public service, dialogue should be the way to go.
President of Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union, Shandukani Hlabano concurred with Motshegwa saying that they were not consulted. “We are not aware of that review, as unions we only know that the government was half hearted in the implementation of the scarce skills allowance. As involved stakeholders, our belief is that we need to be consulted if there is anything concerning the welfare of public servants,” he said.