Agric fails to pay OSD to specialised workers

2010-09-13 00:00

THE Agriculture Department has allegedly failed to implement the Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) for a year, raising concerns among its specialised skills workers expecting to benefit from it.

Among the affected are agricultural scientists, engineers and environmental scientists.

The concerned staff say they have been waiting since October 2009. The then head of department (HOD) Siddiq Adam apparently released a circular, on instruction from the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), which outlined the OSD determinations.

This year, the new HOD, Dr Sizwe Mkhize, issued Staff Circular 16 of 2010 on May 5, which was identical in content to circular eight of 2009, stating that the OSD’s were effective from July 1, 2009. However, nothing has happened.

“To date, nothing has transpired. Rumour has it that internal dissension in the Work Study component of Cedara has delayed the implementation of the OSD, and that the matter has had to be referred to Pretoria numerous times for a decision, which is only now expected in October 2010,” a source said.

Other sources who confirmed the problem said they were also concerned with the pay progression of the OSD, which they described as creative accounting.

“The pay progression is also a bit of creative accounting in that it is actually one percent for the majority of the workers; the 1,5% is only for the lowest ranks.”

Department spokesperson Ncumisa Mafunda conceded that the OSD was yet to be implemented, saying they were busy profiling.

She said they had to follow a directive from the DPSA and profile all affected occupational categories, submit to DPSA for verification, after which the department would then be authorised to proceed with the implementation of OSD.

The profiling process was finalised and submitted to DPSA, who are busy with the verification, she said.

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