About 10 nurses who were dismissed from the Public Service following the nationwide public sector strike have been hired in Nambia, Public Relations officer of the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions, Goretetse Kekgonegile, announced on Friday.
The nurses, whose names the Union has revealed to this paper, consist of 2 men and 8 women. The group will report for duty on the 1st of March.
Kekgonegile said that unlike in Botswana where nurses are among the least paid, the Nambia government is willing to pay three times their worth. He said that Namibia had an attractive package for nurses.
A contract of employment for one of the nurses shows that she will be paid in US dollars and will get an equivalent of roughly P15 000 per month. In addition, the nurses will also get a housing allowance of about P2500.
The contract also provides detailed job description, overtime and shift work. This has really impressed Kekgonegile.
“To us as a federation it means a lot,” he told the Sunday Standard in an interview.
He said that BOFEPUSU’s efforts were bearing fruit and they would continue the job hunt for many of their members who have been dismissed from the Public Service.
He said that the job offers from Namibia are a clear sign that Batswana are highly skilled and deserve to be paid better wages.
The Union has indicated that it will encourage many of its members to apply for nursing posts in Nambia since the country has about 600 vacant posts.
“If the employer does not improve our condition of service then workers have no choice but to grab opportunities from outside,” he argued.
“It is unfortunate that our own government prefers to pay foreigners three times more than what they pay the locals,” he added.
He also revealed that about 60 more nurses were scheduled to go for interviews in Namibia in a few months’ time.
The Federation also says that while it awaits the hearing of the case against the dismissed lot, it is trying hard to accommodate over 313 employees who are still jobless after being dismissed from the public service.
About 356 Union members remain unemployed.