Male civil servants moan the most – report

2010-11-14 13:51

Male civil servants appear to find more to complain about than their female counterparts, a Public Service Commission report reveals.

Of the 7 787 grievances brought to the commission’s attention from April last year to March this year, 45% were from thin-skinned males, while 43% were from females.
The other 12% were from people whose gender was not apparent.

The report says provincial department employees are less happy than those in national departments.

More than half the grievances (4 072) were lodged by provincial department employees, with Gauteng and Limpopo leading the pack.

Policemen and prison warders complain the most – they account for 77% of all grievances reported by national government employees.

Third highest are employees who work in the justice department. The country’s nearly 1.3 million public servants mostly complain about ­salaries, performance assessments and unfair treatment.

Those unhappy with their salaries most commonly mention the occupational specific dispensation, the government’s plan to revise public service salaries.

But the commission is looking on the bright side of all the complaints.

“Compared to the total number of employees in the public service (1 272 311),” says a spokesperson, “the number of grievances formally lodged don’t appear to be excessive.”

The commission believes this may indicate that most employees are satisfied, or that some don’t lodge grievances as they are not ­familiar with the requisite procedures.

Complaints about unfair treatment, including alleged discrimination and victimisation, rose by more than half during the 2009/10 financial year. The commission says this may be symptomatic of unfair labour practices within departments.

Three quarters of complaints were from junior staff members, while only a percentage of deputy directors-general, chief directors and ­directors had complaints.

The commission has summonsed the national departments of trade and industry, justice and labour for managing grievances poorly.

It has threatened to act more strictly against non-complying departments. Six departments in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo did not comply with grievance rules.

“We’ll not hesitate to summons heads of departments where cases have been outstanding for periods of six months and longer,” the commission says.

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