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P6.5 M unpaid allowances land Mokaila’s ministry in court

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  • Transport Ministry employees in court over unpaid allowances
  • Employees owed over P6.5 million-claim

TSHIAMO TABANE

Fifty-four industrial class workers employed by the Ministry of Transport and Communications are in court, following a dispute over unpaid allowances.
The employees demand P6 685 067 in payments from government, this being allowances accrued since 1995.
According to a declaration recently filed by the employees at Gaborone High Court, the ministry has been breaching the Public Service Management Directive of 1995, which states that all industrial class employees who spend weekends away from their duty station are entitled to their full wages plus overtime and subsistence allowance.
They noted that the directive which was issued to all government ministries and departments effective from 20th June 1995, precisely states that if the industrial employee is called to perform any official duties during Saturday or Sunday, he/she will be paid the normal rate multiplied by two. The ministry has however declined paying employees following the directive, they stated.
“We have pursued this matter and made numerous representations to the Ministry leadership since the issuance of the directive and have tried to no avail seek and exhausted all internal remedies,” they say in the declaration.
Their lawyer, Othusiste Mbeha of Duma Boko associates, has raised concern that the Ministry of Transport continues to deploy employees on trips during weekends and public holidays without paying them allowances. “Rather, the employees are only offered and paid commuted subsistence allowance each time they work during weekends and public holidays. To circumvent its obligation to pay, the Ministry has devised a stratagem that is not only an unfair labour practice but is also wrongful, as the Ministry now keeps on conveniently transferring the employees from one category to other categories as and when such employees have to work on weekends or during public holidays,” he stated
Justice Tshepo Motswagole is yet to set dates for argument on the matter following  an initial case management that took place last week.

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