Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Teachers threaten to pull out of agreement with ministry

Teachers are threatening to withdraw from the agreement they reached with the Ministry of Education and Skills Development over extracurricular activities three months ago.

This follows after the MoESD failed to live up to its promises to pay teachers for overtime.

“The deal is not working, the employer promised to pay teachers for overtime until now no teacher has been paid,” said Tobokani Rari, the Secretary General for the Botswana Sector for Educators Trade Union (BOSETU). “We feel cheated and we are left with no option but to pull out of the deal if nothing improves.”

The issue of hours of work and halting extra-curricular activities emanated from the implementation of the New Public Service Act in 2010. Previously, teachers were governed by the Teaching Service Act, which did not stipulate hours of work.

Rari said, as of now, teachers all over the country are reluctant to start the athletics season.
“Sporting activities cannot be done if there is no money coming forth,” he said.

Teacher unions had always reiterated that incorporating extra-curricular activities in the eight-hour working day would not be effective. Rari revealed that teachers have been informed by the employer they cannot be paid because they have exceeded the maximum time as stipulated in the employment act, which is 12 hours a day and 14 hours overtime the whole week.

“Teachers have done their work and they need to be paid for it,” he said. Rari said even those teachers who have worked within the stipulated time have not been paid. “Teachers are not amused with MoESD because overtime money owed dates back to 3 months,” he said.

Rari said last season teachers did a brilliant job but know the problem is with the employer. He said they will take action after tomorrow (Monday)’s meeting with the employer.
Efforts to reach MoESD were futile.

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Digital edition of The Telegraph, October 21, 2020.