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Still no overtime allowance for Mass Media employees

Despite government's recent decision to reverse the cancellation of overtime payment to its employees, which was announced by the Minister of Presidential Affairs, employees of both Departments of Information Services and Broadcasting Services are yet to receive their payments.

The employees are owed wmore than four months of their overtime allowances and yet still expected to deliver their duties beyond normal working hours. The departments’ employees make an overtime of P1.2 million per month.  According to sources, while the management keeps on calling employees for meetings, they are failing to tell them the month in which overtime pay will be effected.

Mmegi has learnt that in their last Thursday meeting, management failed to tell the workers how their overtime allowances for the coming months will be paid.

“This issue is demoralising the employees and some are on go-slow. The money for overtime is piling. They said they had only found money to pay overtime from February, March April and May. They are not sure on how they will pay us overtime going forward. But we are not certain that they had indeed found money,” the source said.

Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) secretary general, Topias Marenga said though the matter had not yet been reported to them, they were aware of the issue.

“We are waiting for information and broadcasting employees to officially lodge the complaint with us so that we can

start negotiating with the employer on how they can be paid overtime going forward,” he said.

“The issue of overtime is very critical and it is time government looked into a proposal that was submitted by a task team that was appointed. The management of information and broadcasting should stop making staff work extra hours if they do not have money to pay them.” He continued: “If they cannot pay overtime, then they should stop making workers to work overtime. This is contradiction of the highest order. Those departments that don’t have money for overtime should know that workers cannot work extra hours”.

However, the Director at Information and Broadcasting, Keitirele Matlhape curtly told Mmegi: “This issue is internal and we have given explanation to those who need it. Lona ko Mmegi le kolotiwa eng (what are you owed at Mmegi)? I cannot comment further”. Recently, corporate affairs officer at Broadcasting Services, Douglas Israel wrote that “the Director of Broadcasting Services (DBS) wishes to inform DBS staff that overtime will not be paid this month April as the issue surrounding overtime for this financial year is still under discussion”.




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