Following the standoff between Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) and teachers over overtime allowances, Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) has advised its members not to engage in any activities after working hours in the name of overtime.
According to a communiqu├® from BTU dated 12 May 2015 the issue of overtime is still yet not resolved by the Union and MoESD.
“In our meeting with MoESD on the 22nd of February 2015, the Ministry committed to pay the pending overtime payments between the month of April and June 2015, however it was not clear where the money will be sourced as it was reported that there was no money at all for the same,” the communiqu├® reads in part.
The communiqu├® says that in the same meeting there were questions as to whether they should let teachers work overtime and be paid later which the union party was very skeptical on.
“This led to consultations on the following week; 26- 30 January 2015 in which the union gave mandate that all activities done after working hours including sports should seize until outstanding payments are all paid and also the Ministry of Education commit itself that there is money to pay for overtime worked,” said the union.
In addition the union say the negotiations are not yet over on how the overtime issue can be handled in their case as the two parties are yet to engage one another on their proposal after being advised by the commissioner of Labour.
This meeting was initially scheduled for 16th March 2015 then postponed to 23rd March 2015 but up to now it has not been convened despite the union strive on the same.
“We therefore , basing on the above arguments believe that we must stick to the decision that everything done after working hours as overtime must seize until we finished the matter with the Ministry, lest we experience the same problem of not being paid after working overtime,” says the union.
BTU advised all its members not to engage in working overtime and those who have already started to stop instantly until further notice to give the union a chance to negotiate well for them without prejudice on the issue.
BTU’s position is followed┬á by a communiqu├® from MoESD which stated that the education Ministry had already started┬á compiling relevant information to pay the outstanding balances of teachers overtime by end of June. The Botswana Teachers Union Secretary General, Ibo Kenosi confirmed the position of his union to this publication adding that it still stands since nothing has changed.