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BOPEU makes a u-turn on employees’ salary increment

Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) employees are reeling in confusion after an announcement of the reversal of their four percent salary increase just six months later.

Mmegi has learnt that earlier last week Wednesday, BOPEU general secretary Topias Marenga briefed some of the staff members about the developments citing that the four percent increase added more costs to the organisation’s wage bill. However in an interview with Mmegi last week Wednesday, Marenga denied the allegations.

“I am not aware of those developments and cannot comment further,” he said. The move is unlawful at it is unilateral change of terms of the contract of employment, as the employees had legitimate expectation, one labour lawyer observed.

 “In law, there is a principle called legitimate expectation. The conduct of the employer is actionable in law,” the lawyer said.  In 2017, BOPEU restructured their organisational chart and introduced a new one in which a new pay structure of four percent was introduced effective beginning of November. According to sources within BOPEU, procedure was followed as the transition was explained.  Then Kahiya & Associates was engaged as consultants to carry out the process. 

Mmegi has gathered that through letters dated January 20, 2018,

employees were informed of their new salaries as a result of the exercise above and confirming the averments made at the staff meeting aforestated.  “It is important to note that the said letter was made after the new salary was implemented with the December 2017 payslip having already reflected the change and back pays included therein,” said a source within the organisation.

According to reliable sources, last month a section of the board led by the president, Masego Mogwera and first deputy president, Martin Gabobake moved to have the salary changes reversed. As a result employees were informed of the impending change under the guise of consultation. 

“A letter authored by the first deputy president to the general secretary exists in which he directs that salary changes should be reversed,” said the source, adding that, “this is notwithstanding that he knew of the changes for the last eight months.  This will result in some employees having their salaries slashed in half while others maybe be faced with financial ruin”.




Another EVM for dustbin!

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