Mmegi Online :: Gov’t offers 3%, braces for employee backlash
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Last Updated
Wednesday 20 February 2019, 16:39 pm.
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Gov’t offers 3%, braces for employee backlash

Negotiations for civil servants salary adjustments are underway in Lobatse and government’s proposal is to award 3.5 percent salary increase to C&D scale and six percent for A&B scale for financial year 2019/2020.
By Tsaone Basimanebotlhe Fri 01 Feb 2019, 13:52 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Gov’t offers 3%, braces for employee backlash








For the year 2020 /2021, the employer has also proposed the same figures. 

However, unions through Botswana Public Employees Union, Botswana Nurses Union and Botswana Federation of Public Parastatals Private Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) affiliated unions have long submitted their own proposal to the government. They want nine to 10% for C&D bands and 13% for the A scale. 

The Minister Finance and Economic Development, Kenneth Matambo will deliver the Budget Speech on February 4 where he is expected to announce the percentage increase.

“Mandate givers are supposed to have given the negotiators mandate as they will be entering negotiations today.

Unions were given three days to study the employer’s proposal before negotiations could commence,” the source said. 

The employer had submitted his proposal on January 29. The parties have signed Rules of engagement/rules of negotiations which amongst others prohibit for disclose of information while negotiations are ongoing.

Last week, the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) wrote to BOFEPUSU that when negotiations commence this week, negotiators should move out of Gaborone to concentrate on discussions.

Matters between government and unions have been going smoothly towards the end of last year until government representation requested extension of time to January 28 before salary negotiations begin.  According to a source, the DPSM estimation is that the talks may take a week.

“The DPSM has however requested that each party should foot the bill for its negotiators,” the source said.

“We are yet to hear from DPSM. Our wish as the union leaders is that talks could have ended before January 15 so that salary increase could form

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part of national budget when the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Kenneth Matambo delivers it in February,” BOFEPUSU secretary general, Tobokani Rari said last week. “Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has delivered their proposal paper and we are waiting for DPSM to table its proposal one.”  Rari said the unions have been ready to negotiate and work well with the government, but they are shocked at the way DPSM conducts its business.  Efforts to get a comment from DPSM director, Goitseone Mosalakatane were not successful as her phone was off. 

However BDP chairperson of communication and International Relations sub committee Kagelelo  Kentse  said; “as a governing party we are very excited about the President’s initiative to engage unions.

It is of utmost importance to us as a party because we care for the workers, we know the struggles that workers go through and we do sympathise with them. It’s been long that they never experienced a salary increase and this could have not at the right”.

He said it is important for President Mokgweetsi Masisi to have put the working conditions of public servants as a priority and the party urges DPSM to move swiftly to engage union leaders. 

“We hope union leaders and DPSM will engage fairly, patriotically with respect and with all fairness it deserves.

Our working force is our strength as a government. We need each other and that is why the government cannot be unions’ enemy,” he said. The negotiations for salary increase started this week at Cumberland Hotel in Lobatse.

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