President Mokgweetsi Masisi has once again reiterated his government’s promise to resuscitate the Public Service Bargaining Council (PSBC) amid discontent from unions that he has gone against his word.
Masisi had committed to resuscitating the PSBC by September 2018 soon after he came into office. The promise was also reiterated during his party’s campaign prior to the 2019 General Election. Three years on, the PSBC remains dissolved, with the labour unions accusing him of making hollow promises and snubbing them.
However, Masisi once again reiterated during the Labour Day Commemoration on Saturday that there is hope for the PSBC to be up again.
“I am reliably informed that, despite the plethora of past challenges and obstacles, there is hope for the bargaining council,” he said.
Masisi said the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) together with all Public Service Unions have been engaging each other in the spirit of mutual respect and good faith under the guidance of a mutually agreed upon independent facilitator.
He indicated that the parties have resolved to seek expert advice from the ILO to address outstanding issues in order to complete the task of resuscitating the
“Moreover, the ongoing review of our labour laws such as the Employment Act, the Public Service Act and the Trade Disputes Act, to align them with international labour standards, will go a long way in creating decent work for our people. This will also pave way to effectively address issues such as fair income, equal opportunities for both men and women in the work place, security and protection in the work place,” he added.
He re-affirmed the government’s commitment to better the lives of Batswana. The President said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenge of unemployment, particularly amongst young people. He also said work has commenced, through the Botswana Decent Work Country Programme (BDWCP), to develop a National Occupational Health and Safety Policy to enhance the existing social protection provisions.
However, labour unionists on Saturday said government behaves like it will be doing the unions a favour by implementing some of the labour agreements.