Is it a calling or just in it for the money by: Hubert Pipersberg

Is it a calling or just in it for the money

This underscores the point that we have been discussing on social media for awhile now. The
system is in need of serious structural reforms. Insanity is define as doing the same thing over
and over and expects to get different results. Public service is a choice that one makes and it
comes with certain sacrifices. It’s a given that one’s compensation will not reflect that of the
private sector, The public sector and the so called third sector(non-profit) will never be able
to compete compensation wise with the private sector. The reason is that in public service the
compensation is under-written by taxpayers the government gets its money from tax collection
unlike a business that operates for profit. One enters public service with the assumption that you
are serving the public good. You are doing so strictly for altruistic reasons. It is suppose to be
a calling to service higher than yourself. What better way to make a meaningful contribution to
society via public service? The goal becomes blurred when we expect more out of public service
than what the stated results can give. Having said that, how do we determine compensation?
Aligning it with the cost of living would be a start. Offer civil service protection with built in due
process to protect from arbitrary dismissal. In addition, appointed positions such as the CEO
of a ministry who essentially serve at the whim of the minister is still a bureaucrat working in
public service as such they cannot be expected to receive CEO type private sector compensation.
Granted they signed a contract. However, their compensation should commensurate with
scholarship and experience. They should also be evaluated based strictly on performance. Since
they are in fact public servants, they should be compensated enough to do their job for the
public good without compromise or any under-hand dealings. They should be able to serve with
integrity. This is where ethics in government plays a significant role. Bear in mind morality
cannot be legislated. In short, they must still be held accountable to the public trust. I can think
of interventions such as the integrity commission as a start.

As for these powerful elected government ministers with mandates to intimidate bureaucrats,
they operate under a different banner the spoils system. Suffice to say again it boils down to
sacrifice for the public good. I believe that they should be compensated. I am not prepared to
suggest a number. However, it should be aligned with the cost of living. This is an example of
where the Westminster model exposes its short comings. An ongoing discourse or framework
is what is needed to determine the most effective reform to our system of governance and
jurisprudence. What is the most effective model if so how will it be implemented? I am not
prepared to suggest one only because I believe that input will be required from all the stake
holders (the people). I will say this; the stated goal should be for proportional representation. In
addition, I have argued consistently, in this space, that I believe that it should in fact begin with
s sober look at our carbon copy constitution; a constitutional conference/convention would be
my preference. Since the constitution is the highest law of the land we should fashion one that
mirrors our struggle as a people.

One thought on “Is it a calling or just in it for the money by: Hubert Pipersberg

  1. What a blessing to watch these cidhlren grow in their knowledge each year. Sorry to hear about your family friend, but thankful that there is a party going on in heaven in her honor! Oh and a husband who gives foot massages, you are truly blessed!

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