6CTU to consult further over mass demonstrations

Workders during the May Day celebration in Francistown PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
Workders during the May Day celebration in Francistown PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG

FRANCISTOWN: Further consultations are still needed over the decision to hold country wide mass demonstrations, says Mogomotsi Motshegwa, one of the leaders of the Six Cooperating Trade Unions (6CTU).

Motshegwa’s words follow a recent decision by members of the 6CTU in Francistown and surrounding villages that gave their leaders the go-ahead to start preparations for mass demonstrations across the country.

During a tempestuous meeting that was held outside the Civic Centre Hall last week, the leadership of the 6CTU told their members that government through the Department of Public Service Management (DPSM) was to blame for the delay in concluding negotiations of their conditions of service following the Performance Management Delivery And Unit (PEMANDU) report.

The report recommended an increase of salaries of civil servants.

PEMANDU Associates is a private consultancy firm focused on public sector transformation, business turnaround and communications. After the heated meeting, which was dominated by calls for regime change, Motshegwa promised the members that the union leadership would always execute their decisions provided the majority of members supported the decisions.

Motshegwa and the coordinator of the 6CTU Tobokani Rari had earlier told the gathering that after too much dillydallying, government had agreed to return to the negotiations table on July 27.

Motshegwa and Rari’s words surely opened a Pandora’s box.

During the meeting, it was crystal clear that the majority of speakers were in agreement that the best tool to use to force government to negotiate with unions in good faith was to engage in an industrial action.

When Mmegi contacted Motshegwa on Thursday to get an update on the preparations of mass demonstrations across the country as per the demands of the members of the 6CTU, Motshegwa said further consultations were still needed first.

“The truth of the matter is that we held consultative meetings in Gaborone and Francistown only. For us to carry mass demonstrations across the country, we have to consult all our structures from different parts of Botswana. We don’t want a situation whereby our members from some parts of the country would point accusing fingers at us telling us that they were not consulted before certain decision(s) affecting them were taken,” said Motshegwa.

He further explained that they would release a schedule showing how the leadership 6CTU is going to move around the country with a view to touch base with all their structures.

Last week Motshegwa also stated that although the 6CTU have given DPSM its position paper regarding the conditions of service negotiations, the employer has not furnished the 6CTU with its position paper.

Asked if DPSM has honoured its promise of giving BOFEPUSU its position paper, Motshegwa replied: “DPSM has not given us its position paper but this would not stop the negotiations from continuing. Touring our structures across the country would also put pressure on government to negotiate with us in good faith.”

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