The Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has acceded to a request by the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM), for belated negotiations of the 2012/2013 salary increment.
After negotiations for a possible salary increment failed late last year, they declared a dispute with the commissioner of labour’s office to pave a way for a possible strike action.
“We are willing to settle the matter outside the labour office but we have to follow procedures since the matter is already with the labour office,” revealed Masego Mogwera, the president for the BOFEPUSU.
Mogwera said that the Federation has received a request from the DPSM director, Carter Morupisi.
She said that the union and government will meet tomorrow (Monday) before a mediator to consider if there is a possibility of settling the issue without involving the labour office.
“It is our expectation that we will agree on a set date a week from now that we can sit and discuss the long overdue grievances,” said Mogwera.
She also stated that the Union is resolute that the bargaining council be constituted without further delay.
“The bargaining council would be an invaluable platform as it would take care of issues of salaries and conditions of work,” she said, adding that, “It will never be in the interest of the public service for one party within the labour relations to dictate to the other on processes and limits.”
She said that once the bargaining council is commissioned, salary negotiations and issues of workers interest would be resolved without much strife.
BOFEPUSU handed over a petition to Morupisi, against the declining human and trade union rights in Botswana and he promised to respond after a week.
“BOFEPUSU registers its displeasure of the harsh and repressive working conditions extended to 2415 re-employed workers,” read part of the letter.
The petition bemoaned the segregation of unions, saying trade unions continue to be silenced and bashed by the employer and his representatives. It pointed out government’s violations of the International Labour Organizations of which Botswana is signatory to.