As the public sector strike goes into its third week, the director of Public Service Management, Festinah Bakwena, has warned public employees serving in the essential service cadre to report for duty or face possible dismissal from work.
Over the weekend, Bakwena ‘s office released a press statement stating, among others, that the strike by essential service employees remains illegal and further called on all essential service employees to report for duty or bear the consequences of being sacked from their jobs.
According to Bakwena, the temporary order by the Industrial Court is that those employed in the essential service segment should return to work.
She says that these workers include doctors, nurses, pharmacists.
“The public is advised that the strike by essential services employees remains illegal and interdicted.┬á All public sector employees engaged in essential services are once again urged to return to work urgently.
All affected employees who fail to return to work face the possibility of dismissal,” states Bakwena.
In a separate interview with The Telegraph, Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU)’s general secretary, Andrew Motsamai, indicated that although the strike is continuing, he is not aware of any essential service employees who have not returned to their station following the temporary order issued last week.
“In our view they have complied, if there are some who have not reported for duty then we would need to investigate,” he said.
However, Motsamai said that from their understanding non essential service cadre, such as groundsmen and gatekeepers working in the essential services, were excluded from reporting for duty.
He said that the Union is aware of government threat to dismiss some employees but warned that the move would be suicidal.
“Should they do anything to them then they would be asking for a revolution,” warned Motsamai.
Motsamai said that BOFEPUSU’s hope is that the Industrial Court rules in their favour, adding that their quest is to see to it that essential service staff joins the strike even if it means taking the matter to the Court of Appeal.