Sunday, June 16, 2024

Workers’ Unions to appeal suspended judge’s ruling

Gaborone lawyer, Tshiamo Rantao, says that they are appealing a judgment against the Botswana Land Board and Local Authorities Workers Union (BLLAWU) recently passed by suspended Lobatse High Court judge, Dr Onkemetse Tshosa.

The judgment was in regard to alterations, which were purportedly made to change salary structures that are applicable to Local Government Service as the BLLAWU believes the salary structures were unfair.

The ruling follows after the BLLAWU and the National Amalgamated Local and Central Government and Parastatal Workers Union had made an application to the High Court seeking that the Court reviews and sets aside the respondents’ decision contained in Directive No1 of 2009 in terms of which alterations were purportedly made to changes to the salary structure that is applicable to Local government Service.

They also wanted an order declaring that such decision of the respondent be of no force and effect and that it was inconsistent with Trade Union and Employers’ Organisation Act.

The Workers’ Unions had also asked for the cost of the suit.

Dismissing the application, Dr Tshosa, on the point raised by applicants that they were not adequately consulted, said that there was enough evidence that shows that the applicants were consulted and that a meeting of July 3, 2008 cannot be characterized as an informal consultation convened only to solicit, adding that it could not have been an informal consultation.

Tshosa further said that the minutes of the meeting clearly show that it was a lawful consultation meeting between the Directorate of Public Service Management and BLLA and the resolutions reached at the meeting were therefore binding.

He said that at that meeting, it was agreed that the Local Government Directive No 11\ 2007 be withdrawn.

On the meeting of the 17 February 2009, which the applicants say was not binding as well because it was not a Joint Consultative meeting, Tshosa said that this was a meeting between BLLAWU and DPSM, held at DPSM offices and its purpose was to inform BLLAWU on the latest developments in the Department of Local Government Senior Management .

He added that the DLGSM minutes of meetings also show that government had taken the decision to withdraw Directive No 11.

He said the minutes of the 17 February, 2009 clearly show that BLLAWU were consulted in relation to job grades and government decision to withdraw Directive No 11 of 2007.

On the argument by the respondents that the meeting was not a Joint Consultative meeting and resolutions reached in it were not binding on parties since it does not comply with regulations of the Unified Local Government Regulations, Tshosa said that it was apparent from the minutes that the meeting of 17 February, 2009 was only attended by the respondent and two officials and was not constituted according to regulations. He, however, said that it is not in dispute that such a meeting between the respondents and BLLAWU representative took place and that it was clearly indicated that at that meeting it was specifically stated a directive would be issued withdrawing Directive 11 of 2007.

Boitshoko Toteng represented the respondents.

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