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BOSETU boss says teachers need education

Staff Writer
The executive secretary of the Botswana Teachers Union (BOSETU), Justin Hunyepa has said that their members need education after unionisation. Hunyepa was speaking after a letter from one of the members suggested that there is no consultation when subscriptions are increased.


The subscriptions were raised from P22 to P45, which is one percent of the teachers' salaries. Hunyepa explained that the decision to increase the subscription, to match the International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards, came after a resolution taken at the Maun congress last year.

He indicated that all schools were represented by their shop stewards who were to brief all the teachers. "We realised that many of the stewards did not report back the resolutions to the teachers who did not attend. The other schools did not attend completely, and that might be the reason why some of the teachers are saying they were not consulted," Hunyepa said.

He stated that unionisation is still very new in the public sector and this might be why some of the members think it is a problem. "It is a matter of educating our members so that they understand that we are not robbing them but doing this for their own benefit," Hunyepa said. He explained that from the

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subscription, 60 percent is used for the running of the organisation, while 40 percent is saved for rainy days for members. "ILO states that no work no pay, and so if we are on strike, this money will be used to pay the members because the employer cannot pay for the days they will not be working," he explained. Hunyepa said that about 20 teachers tendered their resignation from the union but they changed their minds when it was explained to them why the subscription was increased.

The deduction seems to have rubbed some teachers the wrong way and they invaded the BOSETU offices to get answers.

"Though much efforts was made to inform the teachers through correspondences that they should expect such a change, it did not bear any fruits. Worse still, after the resolution was taken in Maun last August, regional chairpersons did not have the urgency to tour schools to update the teachers on this new development," a letter from BOSETU stated.



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