The government and trade unions met for the first time on Tuesday to prepare for bilateral negotiations on salaries for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 financial years.
The negotiations will be attended by the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) and Botswana Federation of Public Parastatal Private Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) recognised trade unions.
These include Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) and Botswana Nurses Union (BONU) who met DPSM on Tuesday for start of the talks.
This came after BOFEPUSU, together with the two unions who are not affiliated to the federation, wrote to DPSM requesting that they should meet in order to start preparatory meetings and exchange of documents as proposal for salary negotiations.
Four leading unions affiliated to BOFEPUSU have joined hands with BONU and BOPEU for salary negotiations for financial years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.
The leading members of BOFEPUSU are Botswana Land Boards Local Authorities and Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU), Botswana Sectors of Educators’ Trade Union (BOSETU), Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) and the National Amalgamated Local Central and Parastatal Workers’ Union (NALCPWU).
According to a source, the unions and DPSM had agreed to form a task team, which will make schedules for meetings and roles of engagement of negotiations.
“It was also agreed that DPSM should bring three names of people whom they prefer. One could be a chairperson of bilateral
It was agreed that the chairperson should not be a government employee. It is expected that the negotiations should end before the end of January,” the source said.
Another source said they expect exchanges of salary proposal paper work to start mid-January so that government could bring the countering proposal well in time.
In a letter dated December 12, 2018 DPSM director Goitseone Mosalakatane said: “We have noted your resolution that you want to be treated as a single negotiating party rather than single entities for purposes of salary negotiations.
“In the interest of time and purposes of the meetings, we are amendable to negotiating with you as a block. Please note that each of the trade unions has a bilateral arrangement with the employer”.
“We, therefore, advise that at the conclusion of negotiations, the employer will sign separate collective agreements with each union that covers their respective bargaining unit,” Mosalakane continued.
BOFEPUSU secretary general Tobokani Rari confirmed the meeting, but declined to elaborate further, especially regarding the contents of their meeting with the government.