The government has reportedly refused to submit a counter proposal for the 2013/14 salary negotiations to the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) affiliates, citing among others, an ongoing review of conditions of service for public servants.
Information reaching Sunday Standard is that Director of Public Service Management (DPSM), Carter Morupisi, was required to submit a counter proposal following a proposal submitted by the Federation in which it made it known to the employer.
In an interview on Thursday, Morupisi confirmed that they are not in a position to submit a counter proposal for 2013/14 salary negotiations.
“The Government is undertaking a consultancy on the review of conditions of service for public servants so that we can be informed through submissions from civil servants as individuals or as a group,” he said.
Morupisi added: “The truth of the matter is that we have not started anything regarding salary talks.”
According to Morupisi, the government will be in a position to make an informed opinion when engaging unions. He added that the consultancy being undertaken will be completed in June this year.
“The unions had come up with some conditions of service that affect workers. I have responded to their proposal that they must give us time to undertake the study which will help government to make an informed decision as government is under serious financial constraints,” said Morupisi.
He said the review will, among other things, look at an array of issues such as allowances, working hours, retention strategy, housing and conditions of employment.
BOFEPUSU’s Secretary General, Tobokani Rari, said in a statement that at a Public Service Bargaining Council meeting that was held on 21st February 2013, the issue of salary negotiations was discussed.
“It was agreed ultimately that the employer should go and work on the counter proposal to the salary adjustment paper that was submitted by the union party and present it on 7th March to the Secretariat of the PSBC so that it could be forwarded to the union party. Further to that, it was agreed that salary negotiations should then commence on 11th March 2013,” said Rari.
He said but government has since not complied with the agreed time line of submitting a counter proposal (7th March 2013) and the union party has up to now not been favoured with any such proposal from government.
“The union party has written the Secretariat of the PSBC indicating that they give the employer party up to end business, Monday 11th March 2013 to have been favoured with a counter proposal from the employer failing which they (union party) would declare a dispute,” said Rari.
He said it was only recently that the government replied to the union’s proposal indicating that they are unable to resume negotiations as they are undertaking a research on incentives for the public service.