Workers protest boss’ bonus

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MASERU — Workers at the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) are up in arms over a human resources executive they accuse of getting a full bonus that “she didn’t deserve” last December.

The workers say the head of human resources and administration Lucy Mataboe should not have been given the full eight percent bonus because she did not complete the four quarters of the year that LNDC stipulate as the condition for a worker to get a bonus.

Documents show that Mataboe spent the third quarter of 2009 away from work after she was suspended.

The workers also say Mataboe got the bonus despite the fact that she had been convicted of using “inappropriate language” during a meeting with the then chief executive Peete Molapo

They also question how she managed to score a high mark in her performance appraisal when she had spent some months on suspension.

The workers have also complained to the National Union of Retail and Allied Workers (Nuraw) about the issue.

On February 8, Nuraw wrote to the LNDC chief executive, Motebang Mokoaleli, and the board of directors raising serious concerns about Mataboe’s entitlement to the bonus.

In that letter they ask Mokoaleli to explain how Mataboe got the eight percent bonus when “her performance for the year ending March 2009 has been dismal in the view of staff”.

“During the three months of her suspension she obviously did not perform,” the letter said.

The union also alleged that they were aware that she had scored 2.3 in her performance appraisal and therefore did not make the grade for a bonus. For a worker to qualify for a bonus he or she must score at least three.

“Finance division should have spotted such irregularities and advised you accordingly.”

Mokoaleli then responded in a letter dated February 24 telling Nuraw that he was surprised the union was concerning itself with LNDC’s internal matters. Nuraw was not following the agreed recognition contract, he charged.

“The senior LNDC official that Nuraw is complaining about is not a member of that institution,” he said.

“In my view Nuraw has no legal standing to meddle in issues that do not concern it.”

He however added: “Let me also commit to you that under my leadership LNDC commits to the highest ethical standards by all staff members.”

He said he had not done Mataboe’s appraisal and so was not aware that she had scored 2.3.

He said in awarding a bonus to Mataboe he had “acted on completed information presented in a grip form submitted” by the human resources department to his office.

The Lesotho Times has seen that grid and it shows that Mataboe’s performance was not evaluated for the third quarter of 2009.

But despite the missing marks she still managed to get an average that ensured that she got her full bonus.

She scored 3.2 in the first quarter, 3.0 in the second and 3.1 in the last.

The average score is calculated by dividing the total score by four — the number of quarters in a year. Her average was however reached by dividing her total score by the three quarters of the year to give her a favourable average of 3.1.

Had her final score been divided by the four quarters she would have scored 2.3, making her ineligible for a bonus.

This paper also has documents showing that the chief executive queried her scores and those of other employees when she submitted the grip for approval.

The grip also shows that despite missing the last three months of the year she still managed to get one of the highest appraisal marks in her department of seven people.

In an interview with the Lesotho Times yesterday Mokoaleli said although Mataboe had been suspended for three months she still deserved her bonus because her suspension had been nullified by the Directorate of Dispute Prevention and Resolution.

Mokoaleli said after the suspension was lifted she qualified for a full bonus.

Another document shows that on October 27, 2009 a group of employees also wrote the chief executive and the board requesting an investigation into Mataboe’s qualifications and capacity to be the head of human resources and administration.

They described her department as “weak and uncaring”.

The letter was signed by 17 of the 43 workers on LNDC’s payroll at that time. Mokoaleli responded on November 12 saying Mataboe was qualified for the job but said there “could have been some interference that adversely affected her ability to discharge certain duties diligently and effectively in the past”.

“Slippage on her part could have been to succumb to undue pressure (sic),” explained Mataboe.

He said other issues the workers had mentioned were going to be resolved because there had been an internal audit of the human resources department.

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