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‘Toxic’ new pay structure divides CAAB

Publishing Date : 17 October, 2017


A proposed new pay structure at the Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) has divided staff, with those on the technical side but lower bands accusing those on the Human Resources and Administration bands of coming up with a self-serving structure albeit undermining the “core” cadres of aviation.

The positions grading levels for approved structure – April 2014 compared with the revised structure of October 2017 were shared with staff this week and caused a lot of consternation especially in the middle and lower bands. The discussions around a new pay structure comes at a time when the CAAB board is also battling with the decision to renew or not to renew the contract of their 76 year old Chief Executive Officer, Geoffrey Moshabesha whose three year contract is coming to an end in December. Some in the board want to bring in a local to take over the reins while appreciating what the former CEO has done for CAAB. They also point to the issue of age. Moshabesha, a Lesotho national, first came to CAAB as a consultant and was later offered the CEO post.

As word document copies of the new pay structure hit in boxes of some of the CAAB staff members, there allegations were flying thick and fast that one of the staff   members based at the Human Resource Department had fiddled with the original document from the consultant and forwarded a doctored version of the proposal.

As he gripes over his protracted contract appraisal, the CEO has to deal with unhappy Air Traffic Controllers, Aviation Security Officers, Aviation Firemen, and Air craft maintenance officers among others. These cadres have been notched at lower bands of 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 in the CAAB pay structure but they are convinced that they should have been capped at a better scale.

The aggrieved staff point to the Corporate Services directorate which houses human resources and administration personnel as self-serving. According to the new pay structure a number of positions have been moved from band 5 to band 4; and others in their majority have been moved from band 6 to band 4. There is only one person or position pegged at the middle band of 8, an Administrative Assistant, the rest are between 2 and 6 bands.

The Chief Executive Officer remains at the top of the chart on band 1 followed by Heads, Aviation Security and Facilitation Oversight, and Head, Air Transport; Director, Aviation Safety Oversight; Director, Air Navigation Services, Director Airport Services; Director, Corporate Services; and Director, Airport Engineering and Maintenance, who are all on band 2. Corporate Secretary and General Counsel has been downgraded from band 2 to band 3.  The biggest jump in the new grading level is observed at the Public Relations and Communication department where the Public Relations and Communications Officer has been upgraded from band 8 to band 5. Head of Public Relations and Communications has been also upgraded from band 4 to band 3.

At Directorate level the staff there ranks the lowest among all the departments with the highest band being 5, held by a Public Affairs Officer and the lowest being 13 held by a Cleaner. A Systems Analyst has been pegged at band 7 in the Directorate. Under Airport Engineering and Maintenance, a most Engineers have been upgraded from band 6 to band 5 while technicians have been upgraded from band 8 to band 7.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Botswana (CAAB) was established by the Civil Aviation Authority Act, 2004 which mandates CAAB to promote aviation safety and security and ensure the regular and efficient use and development of Civil Aviation in Botswana. The Authority commenced full operations on 1st April 2009 as a statutory Corporation under the ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC).  

CAAB is responsible under the Act for regulation of air transport, providing air navigation services, managing airports and advising the government on all aspects of civil aviation. Most of these functions were formerly being handled by the former Department of Civil Aviation (DCA). This is not the first time that the CAAB proposes a new pay structure, everytime there is this proposal staff is divided. Many insiders point to the entrenched divisions of the former DCA employees versus the new institution (CAAB) staff members who were never with the DCA. However those who have not been with the DCA are accused of undermining the former DCA staff.

The CAAB has in the past faced some financial constraints, fingers pointed at the organisational structure for the woes. The organisation has been facing some structural squabbles that were more pronounced during the reign of former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Major Jefferson Thokwane, some employees were retrenched to conjur a new organizational structure. Some of the positions in the organisational structure were faced out then amid contestation. The organisation may be heading to the same situation again, as staff pay bands are changed and a new pay structure is proposed.



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