The decision by the Ministry of education to eventually meet teachers unions and negotiate rates for invigilation and course work may have come a little too late. Both parties met on Thursday but by that time the course work marks for Agriculture and practicals for home economics, both for Junior Secondary schools had already been affected.
Botswana Sector of Education (BOSETU) secretary general Tobokani Rari says they had communicated to their members, not to submit the course works and practicals whose deadlines were last week, pending finalisation of the rates with the ministry.
Last week Thursday’s meeting concluded that the teachers unions, Botswana teachers Unions (BTU) and BOSETU,’s bargaining structure have the powers to negotiate the rates, although according to Rari it was pointless for the ministry to engage in that exercise since the same ministry had been negotiating the rates with the unions’ bargaining structure for the last four years without questioning its legality. The teachers unions and the ministry meet again today to agree on the rates, but once again, a dragging of feet will see the third academic subject, Design & Technology, suffering. According to Rari the deadline for submission of the subject’s course work marks is this week.“
The Monday meeting will also set timelines and deadlines and schedule meetings for burning issues like teachers’ vacations, hours of work”, explained Rari.Another matter that will be discussed by the two parties today is the discrepancies created by the levels of operations that were adopted two years ago. BTU secretary general Ibo Kenosi said while they welcome the Levels Of Operations, it has created discrepancies that are heavily felt at Primary school level.
“ We are saying senior teachers in primary schools ought to be remunerated like their counterparts in secondary schools”. Kenosi says while ordinary teachers, assistant teachers, and senior teachers grade II are at the same scales at both primary school and secondary schools in terms of pay, a senior teacher grade I in primary school is not at the same level with counterparts at secondary schools, despite the fact that it is a supervisory and management role.
While a senior teacher grade I at secondary school is remunerated at D4 salary scale, counterparts in Primary school are at C1 scale. “ We need to delink the position of authority from those with no authority”, added Kenosi.