The Botswana Sector for Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) has lifted a moratorium imposed on working on rest days and overtime. The Union has advised its members and teachers in general to engage in overtime work upon agreement with the supervisors. The BOSETU move comes after the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) announced that it has received 1, 841 outstanding overtime claims amounting to P7,728,395.
The ministry said the names of those owed have been submitted to the Accountant General for payment at the end of this month. “In view of the forgoing, the union regards this as practical commitment on the part of the ministry and as such, lifts the moratorium that was imposed on working on rest days and carrying out overtime activities, and advises the BOSETU membership, and teachers in general to engage on overtime activities upon agreement with the supervisors,” said BOSETU secretary general Tobokani Rari in a correspondence to the members on Monday this week. Last month, BOSETU told the members to abstain from carrying out overtime activities and working on rest days. The union had wanted the ministry to provide a written explanation regarding the status of payments of accrued overtime arrears as agreed at the sectoral bargaining forum. It also wanted the ministry to state its position on its commitment to pay overtime allowances.
The ministry has since provided a response to the Union on the two issues. The ministry has reiterated its commitment to paying future claims and sticking to the statutes regulating overtime.
The ministry has indicated that supervisors will engage teachers on how they will be compensated when they work overtime. BOSETU said the ministry has indicated that it has sub–warranted overtime votes to regions and schools to ensure that overtime negotiations and engagements are based on available funds.
Rari has advised teachers to exercise extreme caution and vigilance when engaging in overtime activities and working on rest days. He told teachers that they must fill forms before undertaking any overtime activities. Rari urged teachers to stick to monetary compensation for overtime rather than off days when negotiating with supervisors. He said the teachers must ensure that they are not remunerated for fewer hours than they worked. The Union boss urged teachers to reject the 50% monetary and 50% day off model of overtime compensation. Where there is no certainty of payment or there is no money, teachers should not undertake any overtime activities.