The six cooperating unions have rejected a countrywide consultative meeting proposed by the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) Director Gaone Manzini Macholo, insisting that they were not consulted ahead of the decision. The Botswana Gazette has established.
DPSM Director, last week, wrote to the six cooperating unions, inviting them to a series of meetings that will be held nationwide during the course of this month. The invited unions include the Botswana Teachers Union (BTU), Botswana Nurses Union (BONU), Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU), Botswana Sectors of Educators Union (BOSETU), Manual Workers Union (MWU), and Botswana Land Boards, Local Authorities, and Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU). In her invitation, Macholo stated that the purpose of the planned consultative meetings is to engage with the public service on a wide range of human resource issues.
However, in rejecting the DPSM’s proposed meetings, the Coordinator of the unions, Tobokani Rari, stated that they are not in a position to participate in the proposed consultations planned under questionable circumstances. Rari said that, as the trade unions’ party, they are not aware of the contents of the consultations with employees, as the two parties have not shared or discussed what would be presented to employees during the consultations. Rari said this development is likely to create a situation where parties might disagree during the consultations. Furthermore, according to the Coordinator, their contention is that the dates for consultations have been predetermined by DPSM without taking into consideration the interests of the trade union party.
In view of the foregoing and having reflected on the issues raised, the trade unions took the decision to snub the planned meetings. “Following an interaction with the DPSM officials, unions resolved that it would be ideal and much neater if the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) technical committees, the Reference Committees, could engage, and then parties jointly engage employees on the final product. We, therefore, conclude that the proposed consultations be halted until such time the parties have concluded on the implementation process of the 2021 CBA and a final product agreed upon by negotiating bodies. Further, parties would have agreed on the feasibility of the consultation dates, having considered the interests of each other. For the avoidance of doubt, the six cooperating unions are not in a position to participate in the proposed consultations,” the Coordinator stated when rejecting the DPSM’s proposed consultations.