Says the President promised to revive the Public Service Bargaining Council under no pressure in 2018
FRANCISTOWN: President Mokgweetsi Masisi ought to explain his failure to resuscitate the Public Service Bargaining Council (PSBC) as he promised, the president of the Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatal Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU), Johannes Tshukudu, has said.
On Labour Day (May 1) in 2018, President Masisi assured Botswana’s trade unions that his administration would have completed revival of the PSBC, which collapsed under former president Ian Khama, by September of the same year.
Tshukudu said the President’s silence on this issue is disturbing, especially that he made the undertaking under no pressure from unions. “Masisi owes us an explanation,” the veteran union leader said. “Mind you his own timeline was that the bargaining council would be up and running by September of 2018. Three years later there is no visible progress.”
He asserted that the Department of Public Service Management (DPSM) frustrated efforts by unions to secure better conditions for workers by resorting to hide-and-seek tactics over the important matter of revival of the bargaining council.
“We are deeply frustrated by Masisi’s government and DPSM,” he said. “We demand fulfillment of the promises that the President and his government made.” He called on the President to at least say what challenges lie between him and resuscitation of PSBC.
Briefing a parliamentary committee recently, the Director of DPSM, Goitseone Mosalakatane, said she and her committee were committed to resuscitating the bargaining council even though unions consider them a stumbling block.
“DPSM is also committed to resuscitating the PSBC based on President Masisi’s declaration in 2018,” she said. “The unions are the ones who should be blamed for the collapse of the council as they had different issues.”
Efforts to reach the Minister of Presidential Affairs Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng, proved futile as his phone rang unanswered.