Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) employees who have been picketing since early this month have vowed not to settle for anything less than six percent salary increment.
Their bosses are expected to make a new offer today (Friday) after a board meeting. The employer has offered only three percent that the employees rejected. According to BPC Workers Union general secretary, Bohithetswe Lentswe, BPC management is reluctant to engage in salary negotiations that should have long been completed.
“The employer has offered only three percent while we are demanding six percent which has been given civil servants. However the negotiations are stagnant because the management is not complying with the engagement rule. Whenever we meet and don’t complete our meeting, we have to meet again within 14 days,” he said. Lentswe said in not less than three occasions, the management would write a letter of apology postponing their meeting stating other engagements.
He said negotiations, which are for the 2015/16 financial year, should have long been completed and employees having received increments dating back to April 2015. Lentswe stated that the delay then led to employees demonstrating with placards before and after work daily in Morupule, Gaborone and Francistown. Lentswe said they expected to hold a meeting with the management earlier this week but were told that the BPC Board was yet to give them a mandate. He said they were told that the Board would meet today before giving them a mandate to take to the negotiations desk.
Lentswe said the employees have vowed not to settle for anything less than six percent and that if they reach a deadlock they will as per the rules and regulations declare a dispute, approach labour offices and the industrial court shall the need arise. Efforts to get a comment from BPC proved futile as the public relations officer, Sandy Mosarwa, said he was not aware of the latest developments as he is away from work. BPC general manager (human resources), Matong Matong, was said to be in a meeting at the time of going to print.