Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Unions slam govt’s part time recruitment

Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has criticised government’s decision to invite hundreds of individuals to apply for jobs on a ‘part time’ basis saying the move is a violation of the country’s labour laws.

Last week scores of government departments published adverts in the state publication Daily News inviting qualified citizens to apply for job placements on a ‘part time’ basis. The Friday edition of the paper listed various ministries, among them State President, Education, Minerals, Lands, Infrastructure, Defence, Agriculture, Health and Youth as having vacancies available on part time basis.

The paper’s Monday edition also invited individuals to apply for part time opportunities in various departments and ministries, among them the Electoral Independent Commission (IEC), Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism. In an interview with The Telegraph on Monday, Johnson Motshwarakgole, Labour Secretary of Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU), said the country’s labour laws require that in the event that there are existing job opportunities, the employer (government) should give those who were retrenched first priority. He cited recent employee retrenchments at Botswana College of Agriculture (BCA), government clinics and hospitals across the country.

He added that government should have consulted them, as representatives of employees, to solicit their views and input.

“The Employment Act states that first priority should be given to employees who have been retrenched and we believe government should have taken us on board so that we have input in this latest recruitment drive,” said Motshwarakgole.

However, Motshwarakgole said they have learnt that the Ministry of Education and Skills Development has since engaged teachers to brief them on the latest development to avoid confusion.

“We are closely monitoring the situation because we must be consulted on anything that is related to employment. We hope they will engage us at some stage. But we are greatly disturbed that we learnt about this through the media,” he said.

Motshwarakgole said the current recruitment drive was another version of Ipelegeng, saying it is the responsibility of government to create permanent jobs. The list of professional jobs on offer include those in the field of medicine, teaching services, legal administration, public relations, geomantic, arts and systems analysts.

On Friday last week, Director of Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM), Ruth Maphorisa, said the decision to engage employees on part time basis will benefit sectors such as agriculture whose jobs are seasonal. She further noted that government made that decision to arrest the level of unemployment in the country. Currently the rate of unemployment stands at 19.8 percent according to the minister responsible for finance and development planning.

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