FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has come out clear to say that President Ian Khama wants to kill the Bargaining Council, a body that comprises of union leaders and government officials mandated to negotiate public servants salaries.
This followed revelation by President Khama recently that government is considering appointing a standing committee to replace the Bargaining Council. “The purpose of this committee is to assess the salaries and see if there can be an increment. The government will just be waiting for the committee to recommend the increment,” Khama said when addressing public servants in Tati Siding.
Khama pointed out that the Bargaining Council will only be engaged after the standing committee has made recommendations. “We will then call the Bargaining Council to negotiate the increment after the recommendation from this committee,” the President observed.
When contacted for comment, BOFEPUSU Labour Secretary, Johnson Motshwarakgole was quick to point out that as the unions they are not surprised with the decision because Khama, he said, is against the Bargaining Council. He said that the move, which they only learnt about in the media, is intended to paralyze the Council. “The President has long declared his fight against the unions, which is why we learn about this development from the media. Further, the decision to withdraw government representatives from the Bargaining Council indeed shows his hatred towards the unions and that he is on a mission to destroy them,” he said.
Motshwarakgole told NorthCast that government cannot appoint a committee to review public servants salaries while the issues are discussed at the Bargaining Council. “We have never been consulted about that committee but if it is true, that will be totally against the Public Service Act. This Act clearly states that salaries are negotiated at the Bargaining Council,” he said.