Broke Btv canít pay overtime

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Staff of the Department of Broadcasting Services is up in arms, and threatening to down tools after their employer failed to pay them overtime for two consecutive months.

Sources at Botswana Television (Btv) and Radio Botswana say things started in August when they did not get their overtime payment, but no explanation was forthcoming from the management.

“Even our immediate supervisors do not have answers as to why our overtime has not been paid, yet they continue to send us on assignments,” said a disgruntled employee whose name cannot be mentioned for fear of reprisal. The employee said that the most affected are reporters for Btv who work late at night and during weekends.

The source said that Btv personnel covering games, are required to be at the stadium as early as 10am and leave at 6 or 7pm, on weekends and they should be paid their overtime.

The Mass Media Complex alone has around 300 employees, but there are others in outside stations - reporters, technicians, and engineers.

“There are those who are responsible for transmission terminals, to ensure that transmission is not interrupted,” explained the source.

Further, the source said: “The department leadership seems to be clueless as to how the issue of overtime can be addressed once and for all. Officers are now contemplating taking up the issue with Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) for further action”.

The failure has also created animosity between junior staff and their supervisors.

An unconfirmed figure or estimation shows that the department pays close to P1 million per month in overtime allowance.

Btv has bureaus in Francistown, Maun, Kasane, and Gantsi. Reporters are expected to cover events where ministers are officiating and many of them take place on weekends.

Reached for comment the director of Broadcasting Services Lesole Obonye, referred enquiries to the Public Relations Officer Ndulamo Ntopo with an sms reading: “Sorry I can’t because I don’t know what you want from Mass Media, call PR office”.

Later in the day, Ntopo said she has been ordered to refer our enquiries back to Obonye and Keitirele Mathapi, the general manager for radio services. Obonye later in the evening declined to comment saying he was driving and would only respond to our enquiries during working hours.

Efforts to get a comment from the deputy permanent secretary in the Office of the President responsible for media,  Mogomotsi Kaboeamodimo were futile at time of going to press as he was in a meeting.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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