The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Kolaatamo Malefho, and Botswana Land Boards and Local Authorities and Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU) are at each other’s throat.
The war of words between Malefho and the union is over the composition of management of the Botswana Public Officer Medical Aid Scheme (BPOMAS).
In a letter dated 06 May 2013 and addressed to BLLAHWU Secretary General Ketlhalefile Motshegwa, Malefho states that they have not had the privilege of a response from the union secretariat regarding the nomination of two union representatives.
Malefho advises BLLAHWU that as per a cabinet directive, the appointment into the Management Committee should be done through consultation with other union stakeholders.
“Kindly note that the effect of your non responsiveness is that the BPOMAS Management Committee is currently not properly constituted; which contravenes the provisions of the new Rules,” he said.
He added that the lack of a fully constituted Management Committee inhibits the pursuance of the Scheme, from a decision making perspective and to the prejudice of the Scheme membership.
“We kindly implore your good office to provide formal feedback on this matter, as a matter of urgency,” pleaded Malefho.
However instead of addressing the issues raised in Malefho’s letter, Motshegwa implores Malefho to address pending issues on his tray before they could respond to the issue of the constitution of BPOMAS.
The union decries what it calls continued discrimination of and prejudice of employees who participated in 2011 industrial action; processing of terminal benefits for dismissed employees.
Motshegwa also called on Malefho to explain disparities in scales and progression of lay counsellors possessing similar qualification and at entry level; the need for job description for cadres in Ministry of Health.
The Union also wants clarity on the existence and operation of promotions Boards in the Ministry of Health; training plan and employees’ development in the Ministry.
Malefho should also explain the disparities in shifts arrangement; employees working in shift hours are made to work varying hours per shift; some shifts are that employees work six hours and eight hours to make up a day while others work eight hours each shift.
Motshegwa also demands that the Permanent Secretary should also disclose the status of Batswana nurses working on contracts and safety employees working on and knocking off night shifts.