Mmegi Online :: UB union wants Deputy Vice Chancellor jailed
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Wednesday 24 April 2019, 15:38 pm.
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UB union wants Deputy Vice Chancellor jailed

The Industrial Court will on February 9, hear an application in which the University of Botswana Academic and Senior Support Staff Union (UBASSSU wants Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Professor Otlogetswe Totolo jailed for contempt of court.
By Oarabile Mosikare Tue 03 Feb 2015, 15:42 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: UB union wants Deputy Vice Chancellor jailed








The application follows a ruling by Industrial Court’s Justice Isaac Bahuma on August 22, 2014, to the effect that  the UB management and UBASSSU should negotiate issues of transfer of 12 lecturers at the Centre for Continuing Education (CCE). 

UBASSSU says Totolo went on to effect transfers without consulting. Bahuma had also ordered the withdrawal of the application by consent.

The UBASSSU and CCE lecturers had dragged Totolo and the UB to court as a matter of urgency to review and set aside the transfer of lecturers to other faculties within the institution.

The union had argued that the impugned decision of transferring the lecturers without consultation was invalid in that it was conducted in bad faith and in violation of the UB’s duty to bargain with the union.

“The first respondent’s decision to transfer the first applicant’s members was taken without affording them a hearing prior to same.

“This is so because, as alluded to above, the agenda items in the emails inviting them to the CCE academic board meeting did not state with certainty that transfers would be one of the issues,” it said.

It further argued that issues of transfers were negotiable matters under the recognition agreement.

It said the negative impact on the UBASSSU members caused by the respondents is a continuing wrong.

This is so because Totolo was still under breach of duty to bargain with UBASSSU, said the union. 

The union also disclosed that it is involved in negotiations with UB on job profiling and job evaluation.

The union also argued that the mass transfers of the CCE lecturers amounted to unilateral variation of the

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lecturers’ terms and conditions of employment.

“This is because when these lecturers applied for these jobs, they were responding to certain advertisements which stated with certainty what their roles, duties and responsibilities would be. They were therefore contracted to do those job descriptions,” said UBASSSU.

UBASSSU also stated that the nature of the work at CCE was dissimilar to other faculties in the university.

The union also stated that Totolo was also confused by his own decision.

“This was because the confusion stemmed from the fact that the transfer letters stated that the terms and conditions of employment would not change and yet they changed dramatically,” observed the union.

The union said Totolo had transferred all academics at the centre, leaving only the support staff,  adding that the centre was not meant for support staff.

The union wrote: “If all academics are removed from the centre then it ceases to exist, hence the concern that the respondents are hell-bent on dismantling the CCE, which is still relevant and required by the nation at large”. Bahuma had ruled that the parties should consult and that no transfers should be effected without consultation.

That has not been the case, argues (UBASSSU), hence praying for Totolo’s incarceration. Alternatively, the union would like Totolo to be fined a sum to be determined by court for his contempt.

“The Union also wants him and the University to pay the costs of the application on an attorney-client scale. 

Prominent labour attorney Tshiamo Rantao represents the applicants while Collins Newman and Company will appear for the respondents.  Justice Harold Rahukya will hear the matter.

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