Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) has expressed its disappointment over the government’s handling of the resuscitation of the Public Service Bargaining Council (PSBC).
Addressing the media on Tuesday this week in Gaborone, the Union’s Vice President, Mogomotsi Motshegwa said the BOSETU was frustrated by the way the government is handling the matter.
“BOSETU as a recognized trade union wants to express its displeasure in the sluggish manner in which the government is approaching this issue. Remember when President Mokgweetsi Masisi ascended to the presidency, he made several pronouncements on this issue,” said Motshegwa.
Motshegwa noted that Masisi had made a deadline that by September last year, the PSBC was to be up and running.
“He went on to make another pronouncement at the Francistown Labour Day Commemoration to say his government will be working with the trade unions to resuscitate the bargaining council,” Motshegwa said, expressing disappointment that even up to now the PSBC remains a pie in the sky.
Motshegwa said they have an arrangement with the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) whereby sic recognized public trade unions meet and engage the employer.
“But that is an illegitimate forum because it lacks the pre-requisites of real engagement between the employer and the trade unions. We want to indicate the delay to formulate the PSBC as enshrined in the Public Service Act is a blow o the industrial relations in Botswana,” said the Unionist.
Motshegwa said the absence of the body is a major concern to BOSETU as it makes the issues of industrial relations a thorn in their flesh.
The PSBC is a forum where both the government and trade unions meet on equal footing to discuss and negotiate conditions of service for public servants.
Meanwhile, after dragging the Ministry of Basic Education to court over payment of scarce skills allowance to the members, the matter which they won; Motshegwa expressed disappointment that the ministry has not complied.
“What is so disappointing is that the ministry decided not to pay our members to the extent that we went back to court and argued issues of contempt of court and the issue will be heard by the court on the 11th of December 2020,” said Motshegwa, adding that this is worrisome and issues of labour relations should not be solved by the courts.
BOSETU Secretary-General, Tobokani Rari has also expressed worry over the harassment of teachers by the school management.
“We are worried that some of our members in schools are harassed and subjected to humiliation on a day to day basis and as BOSETU, we are concerned by this continuous rule by an iron fist and in a totalitarian way by some of the managers in schools,” said Rari.