Members of the Botswana Federation of Public Sector unions (BOFEPUSU) on Wednesday gathered at their usual point at the GSS Grounds and were informed that some of the nurses who were not re-instated after the strike are being hired across the border in Namibia.
BOFEPUSU Gaborone Region Chairperson, Wabakwa Mbise, confirmed that they had called their members to come so that they could brief them about their issues and one of the first issues concerned nurses leaving to go and work in Namibia.
“If possible the first group could be going next week and they are likely to get their first salary end of October,” said Mbise.
He explained that it is the union members’ choice to go and work outside the country but that the union will continue seeking jobs for all the members who were not re-instated after the strike.
Mbise reminded them to therefore stay ready with their travel documents to avoid inconvenience at the border. He said they should have all documents certified and even fingerprints checked.
“No one is going to stop us because we are aware that we continue to have no privacy as our mobile phones are tracked,” said Mbise.
He warned members though not to raise excitement too high until it happens.
Mbise also urged the members not to make their jobs the only source of income but to have something more on the side.
“Let us not only be reliant on the salary though we know we are being stopped to start businesses just as we are told not to engage in politics,” he said.
Mbise asked the members to keep the spirit of “an injury to one is an injury to all”.
He suggested that all workers should volunteer to contribute P20 so that the money could be shared by those who were not taken back to their jobs after the strike.
“We shall soon be opening a bank account for the region but you will be informed about it,” he said, adding that the strike taught both the workers and the employers a lesson.
He said that the strike will remain a scar which cannot be removed on the Government and will always be remembered.
Mbise said the 16 percent issue has not been forgotten but is still on the table to be negotiated even if it takes five years, adding that the 3 percent increment has not benefited workers but only those earning huge salaries because “those who earn more even have entertaining allowances”.