Mmegi Online :: BOPEU not rushing to apply to the PSBC
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BOPEU not rushing to apply to the PSBC

Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) says it will not rush to apply for admission into the Public Sector Bargaining Council (PSBC).
By Goitsemodimo Kaelo Wed 21 Sep 2016, 17:31 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BOPEU not rushing to apply to the PSBC








The union says this is because the 2016/17 salary negotiations will not commence anytime soon due to a pending court case, which has a bearing on the negotiations.

In an interview with Mmegi, BOPEU president Andrew Motsamai confirmed that the union is yet to submit its application to the council. He said their view is that due to a pending court case in which their colleagues, Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) are challenging the three percent salary increase awarded by government earlier this year, no negotiations could begin. Motsamai said as such, the union is not in any hurry to submit its membership list to the PSBC secretariat for verification.

“We could have applied as per the judgement date, but rushing will not help us. There is a court case that has a bearing on the salary negotiations, so they cannot resume anytime soon. The case is set for status hearing on October 17, 2016. We will apply with fresh numbers once the court case is settled,” he said.

Motsamai said at the moment the union is on a massive recruitment drive. He said it did not make strategic sense to apply with the numbers as at June 17, 2016. He said although their current membership numbers qualify them into the PSBC, they will apply with an updated membership list once a determination has been made on the three percent case.

His comments follow BOFEPUSU’s statement that they remain the only recognised and legitimately admitted party to the PSBC through the ‘Acting Jointly

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Agreement’ after the verification process by the secretariat, which determined that the federation met the threshold for admittance into the PSBC. The federation announced this week that they received the results of the verification process on Monday. According to the federation, the implication of this means that the 2016/17 negotiations will resume as a matter of urgency.

However, Motsamai said resuming negotiations while there is a pending court case will subject the matter to sub judice.

“Their lawyers are not advising them properly. Negotiations will not begin unless they withdraw their case or the matter is settled. We will be monitoring the events as they unfold, then we will apply.”

His colleague and BOPEU secretary general, Topias Marenga added that another reason is that the PSBC constitution states that for numbers to be verified by the secretariat, they should be audited membership figures.

“The numbers must be audited by a registered auditor appointed by such a trade union,” said Marenga.

The 2016/17 salary negotiations have been stalled after BOPEU instituted a court case challenging BOFEPUSU’s legitimacy in the PSBC. The Industrial Court then ordered mediation between the two parties but BOFEPUSU appealed the ruling. The CoA directed that the bargaining council should convene with BOFEPUSU submitting its membership list for verification while BOPEU should apply and submit its numbers as at June 17, 2016 for verification and admission. The court had ordered that following the verification, the salary negotiations should continue even without BOPEU, if it did not apply or meet the threshold.

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