Today, when the Minister of Finance and Economic Developmen, Kenneth Matambo put before Parliament the financial roadmap for the year 2019/2020, civil servants will have a reason to smile.
A far cry from recent years when as he delivered his budget speech, the part that talks about civil servants salary increases have often been met with frowns.
This time around, public servants will smile all the way to the bank come April after government fulfilled her promise to engage unions representing public employees in good faith.
According to a document seen by The Monitor, and signed by government’s chief negotiator Grace Muzila and Allan Keitseng on behalf of both Trainers & Allied Workers Union, known by its TAWU acronym, and Botswana Government Workers Union abbreviated to BOGOWU, the government agreed to make adjustments to public servants’ salaries following negotiations that concluded on Sunday. According to the document, A and B grades will be awarded 10% salary increase for both financial years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.
Government had initially proposed a 3.5 percent salary increase for C& D scale and six percent for A & B scales. For the year 2020 /2021, the employer had also proposed the same figures as the previous year. “The parties would like to put it on record that the negotiations were held in a cordial atmosphere, anchored on good faith and transparency,” stated the signed statement. According to the document, the parties further agreed that an appropriate time be found to start salary negotiations for 2020/2021 in order for agreements to be factored into the national budget.
The other agreement between the teams were, “possible use of prevailing inflation rate in the absence of clear government remuneration policy. Migration of A grade to lower B grade.” The negotiations for salary increase started on Friday in Lobatse.
Meanwhile, some unions through Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) also agreed with the numbers and that the conditions of the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) report shall be negotiated upon 2019 while the contents shall effect at the beginning of financial year 20220/21, that is on April 1, 2020.
“Parties as well agreed that the conditions of service and the findings of the PEMANDU report shall be negotiated upon by 2019 with a view to conclude a collective agreement on them,” said the document between the employer and BOFEPUSU.
“It was agreed on this point, that a preparatory process that would enhance a common understanding of the PEMANDU report shall take place during the month of April 2019.” Matambo is expected to announce salary increase percentage during the National budget today.
“Mandate givers are supposed to have given the negotiators mandate as they will be entering negotiations on today. Unions were given three days to study the employer’s proposal before negotiations could commence,” the source said.
The employer had submitted his proposal on January 29. The parties have signed Rules of engagement of negotiations which amongst others prohibit for disclosure of information while negotiations are ongoing.