Three unions sign salary increment MoA

Pay Structure Table
Pay Structure Table

Three co-operating public service trade unions on Friday signed an agreement on salaries and other conditions of service with the government. The three unions are the Botswana Government Workers Union (BOGOWU), Trainers and Allied Workers Union (TAWU), and Botswana Doctors Union (BDU).

When briefing the media, chief negotiator for government Jimmy Opelo said the negotiations were held in an atmosphere of transparency, mutual respect, and good faith with all the parties keenly interested in arriving at an agreement.

“We never experienced a declared deadlock during negotiations. We had rules that were guiding us for example whether the percentage we are talking about is sustainable, scenarios of what might happen in three years will look like, how the economy looks like, and all these factors do help us to direct our negotiations. We also test what is happening not only in the country but the region as well,” he said.

Another chief negotiator for trade unions, Allen Keitseng also said there was satisfaction from both parties which does not mean that anyone has won since this is something that will benefit the citizens of Botswana.

“There was commitment and accountability throughout the negotiations. When there was a disagreement on the matter, we would take days to negotiate it until we reach an agreement. For us, it was not a scenario of who is going to win since in this kind of issue there is no winner or loser,” he said.

“There was a mutual understanding of the challenges that employees in public services are facing. Each party, again, understood its obligation and we agree on continuous engagement on some of the issues.”

However, the parties agreed as follows: across the board salary adjustment of five percent for the financial year 2022-2023 effective April 1, across the board salary adjustment of five percent for the financial year 2023-2024 effective April 1, 2023, across the board salary adjustment of five percent for the 2024-2025 financial year effective April 1, 2024.

On the issue of Emergency Call Allowance for Doctors, the parties agreed that; the Ministry of Health (MoH) together with Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) meet BDU during May and June 2022 to discuss and come up with the best possible ways of addressing the matter; MoH, DPSM and BDU are to produce a report containing recommendations which shall form the basis of concluding negotiations on the issue; the report is to be submitted to the secretariat to be shared with the chair and the parties on or before July 29; the parties shall meet on or before July 29 after submission of the report to conclude negotiations on the issue; the implementation date of any concluded agreement shall be September 1, and the union party to submit a proposal on the issue of any back pay after submission of the report, but before the parties meet on or before July 29.

The parties agree to consider Wage Indexation in future multi-year negotiations on salaries beginning in 2025.

Out of nine public service trade unions, only one National Amalgamated, Local and Central Government and Parastatal Workers Union (NALCGPWU) has opted to negotiate alone with government for salary increments for its members, away from other trade unions that fall under the federation, Botswana Federation of Public Private and Parastatal Sector Unions banner.

It is understood that the union want the government to be guided by a pyramid model since they contend that the bottom tier of workers is the one hardest hit by inflationary pressures. NALCGPWU has employees that still earn less than P3,000.

The other five unions signed recently at Palapye are the Botswana Public Employees Union, Botswana Sector of Educators Trade Union, Botswana Nurses Union, Botswana Teachers Union, and Botswana Land Board and Local Authorities and Health Workers Union.

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