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Govt spends N$2.3b on regrading

Mon, 27 October 2014 11:33
by Timoteus Shihepo
News Flash

Government has spent N$2.3billion to finance the the appeal process of Job Evaluation and Grading System of civil servants The Villager can reveal.
This comes after a number of civil servants appealed against the initial regrading exercise that was initiated by the government in 2011 to introduce a new job-evaluation and grading system.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Etienne Maritz, said the Department Public Service Management (in the Office of the Prime Minister) was inundated with many requests from job categories to review and upgrade their grades and salaries. As a result of that, the Department decided to develop a multi-factor job evaluation and grading system.
“In 2009 with the help of a consultant, we developed our own system, consisting of 17 factors measuring overall knowledge, responsibility, cognitive requirements, communication skills and working environment. In 2010 we conducted a sample study of all the jobs in the Public Service and evaluated about 3200 jobs, spread over 286 job categories inclusive of all functional levels,” he said.
He added that, “The system was implemented on 1 April 2013 subsequent to two appeals processes of which one was finalized costing government an amount of N$2.3billion dollars and we are now busy winding up the second appeal process.”
Second appeals
Government is also busy finalising the second appeal process as civil servants in different 64 job categories handed in another appeal to have their salaries increased.
Among the 64 categories are Private Secretaries to Directors in all the Ministries who feel that their salaries should be adjusted at the same level as of the Senior Private Secretaries.
A Private Secretary to a Director told The Villager, “At first we were assured that we will be getting at least not less than N$150 000 a year but when the regrading process outcome came out, we are being told that we will be getting N$120 000 a year. What’s the difference between us (Private Secretaries) and those (Senior Private Secretaries) if the amount of work we do is the same.”
Maritz said there are between 800 to 1000 private secretaries and they all submitted the re-appeal, whether they will be successful or not, he said he can’t reveal anything owing to the formality of the process.
“The private secretaries’ job category is one of the categories whose case was presented to the re-appeal panel. The outcome I cannot reveal because it first need to be discussed by the Commission, I am not in a position now to engage and discuss with the private secretaries whether their appeal was successful or not.
The same applies to the rest of the 63 job categories that have appealed but it’s important to note that we are still busy with the process and as soon as we manage to finalise the discussions with Cabinet Committee on public service and the commission and the results of the re-appeal panel will be made known to the public service,” he said,
He added that, “The Private Secretaries consist of three functional levels; a Private Secretary who normally assists a Director, Senior Private Secretaries that is either assisting a Deputy Permanent Secretary or Permanent Secretary  or a Minister and an Executive Secretary who assist the Prime Minister or the President. All these three functional levels are part of the re-appeal process,” he said.
The Villager understands that a number of job categories expressed reservations and they wanted the cases to be reconsidered and the Secretary to Cabinet (Frans Kapofi) in May 2013 appointed an appeal panel to look at those job categories that were angry to reconsider it on the basis of the factors that were identified in the system.
The results of the appeals panel was made known in July 2013 and a number of job categories were successful in their appeal and the implementation of those appeals was done on 1st April 2014 backdated to 1st April 2013.
Maritz said the civil servants need to understand the function of the regrading process differently as they are now using a new system
“We look at all the functional levels because it’s a new system. The principle of downgrading or upgrading does not apply because this is a different system with total new factors you cannot argue that people have been upgraded or downgraded. In the end, this what people are complaining about whether their salaries are more than it used to be under the old system.”
There are around 264 job categories within the public service and Maritz said most of those job categories were fine with the outcome.
“The Job Evaluation and Grading System, which forms part of our Reward Management Policy, is a systematic methodology which provides a fair, consistent and transparent basis for establishing the relative worth or size of jobs within an organisation,” he said.