BEGGING SALARIES VERSUS REGULAR PAYMENTS IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR
Poiya Isaac Lagu, (LLM).
“Salary is not begged for, it’s a regular payment.” I developed an interest in this topic when the cry of civil servants in the public service has reached the apex, passing through tough times and days, for six months or more without receiving their salaries, thinking about where their help shall come from; they cannot afford to pay school fees for their children or bring food in the house either affording medical bills to their family. Others are forced to go on leave without pay to allow them to find jobs somewhere for survival, while many chose to resign from their duties. Some comrades could say; that when they were in the bush those days, they received no salaries but; they managed to liberate South Sudan, look at such argument of these old minds! they have forgotten that the South Sudan of today is not of that time of the struggle. Our people now need peace, they have nothing to do with bush life. Things have tremendously changed in the whole world. And I kept thinking about why and how could this happen.
To me; salary is a fixed regular payment, it can be increased, ideally paid and received on a monthly or weekly basis. But; in an international system and standard, it’s in an annual sum being calculated and paid by an employer to an employee for a professional. For example; he receives a salary of Three Thousand South Sudanese Pounds (3,000 SSP). Similar synonyms for the word salary shall include; emolument (s), stipend, wages and gross payment. Sometimes; workers are paid in a material items (s) such as clothes and salt instead of money. In Latin, salt is called “sal”. And the word salary has its root in French word and eventually entered into the English language meaning salary.
Then; to beg means to ask someone earnestly or humbly either kindly for something. Similar words are beseeched, appeal to and in a pleading way, or adjure. For example; a young woman was begging in the street of Hai Malakia and another at Gudele. So, here; to beg means to “ask urgently”. Another example can be; He begged me for mercy….I beg you. Thus to ask for as a gift, as charity or as a favor. Hence; the opposite is to give pressure to someone or compel him either to impose conditions against another or to give constraints to him.
In this article; I am expressing my worries and disappointment as to why our civil servants are begging the government or institutions to pay their salaries. And similarly; why should the institutions and the government wait till when the civil servants beg them so that they can pay their salaries? In a few days ago, we have seen civil servants imposing constraints and giving pressure to the government/institutions and compelling the same to pay their salaries, upon failure; the civil servants threatened to lay down their tools, can you imagine! It should be noted that; no payment of salaries to civil servants is something embarrassing to this great nation the Republic of South Sudan. This means; there is perhaps a decay in the system or management,but; they could always call it a delay.
In my opinion, no person ought to beg for his or her salary. Salary by its natural meaning, “it’s a fixed regular payment”. There is a system for paying salaries. So, if the salary is a fixed regular payment, then; why are the institutions required cannot to pay our civil servants till when civil servants are forced to beg the institutions. This is not how leaders treat their citizens. Do not wait for the civil servants to beg for you to pay them, you ought to know that their salary is not a gift, not a charity or as a favor, its’ never something free. Especially the teachers, lecturers and the Professors of Universities; these are professionals, their knowledge is wealth, why should you treat them in such a way till they could beg you for their salaries?Many might leave for green pasture to other countries, and the colleges will loose human resources hence affecting the quality of learning and experiences in the Universities.
Therefore; You should read the Civil Service Act, 2011 as was signed into law by President, General; Salva Kiir Mayardit on the 7th July, 2011. I quote for the purpose of the Act in the short title at section (3) “ to provide legal framework for effective and fair management of civil servants, establishing intergrity and excellent performance, establishing rights and obligations of civil servants and finally establishing remuneration principles there-to”. Specifically Chapter seven and eight provides for remuneration of civil servants, officials and employees including increment of salaries, grading and appointment as set-forth. The question is; if you cannot pay salaries of civil servants, officials and employees for six months or more, how can you expect efficient services to the people of South Sudan? How will you manage the civil servants especially their intergrity? None payment of salary is one of the reason for poor performance and delivery of service in the work places. Civil servants have basic salaries, travel allowances, government housing, medical benefits, financial advances, increment of salaries, good grading and appointment. If you as government cannot pay these to them, what do you expect them to do, more so the poor citizens.May God / Allah have mercy on our civil servants!
The Author is a legal expert, he can be reached for commends on tel; (+211)924086970, email; firstname.lastname@example.org, Juba!