The recent decision by the government to increase the salaries of public sector workers has created excitement among sections of the public sector unions and their membership concerning the impending salary adjustment.
We in the UDC understand this excitement because the Khama-Masisi governments have spent more than 12 years fighting, frustrating and denying the workers their rights including the legitimate request for annual salary adjustment. The statements by His Excellency, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi during the 2011 Public Sector should not be overlooked. His promise to the BCL workers of 12-18 months salary when the mine closed still remains unfulfilled.
The salary adjustment is not a salary increase. It is a mere adjustment to protect workers’ salaries and wages against erosion of their buying power caused by inflation. Because of the BDP refusal of salary adjustment over the years, workers have had their salaries and wages eroded by more than 16 percent.
So the expected salary adjustment should actually offer workers not less than 16 percent. We should remind workers and the BDP Government that salary adjustment is not a favour but a right by workers. UDC wishes to remind workers that what is required is a salary increase over and above a salary adjustment. Salary increase is required to address serious structural issues such as fair pay, inequalities, skills scarcity, allowances such as those of police, the army, remote area workers and many other categories of iniquities and injustices in the current salary structure.
In addition, we need a salary review which will decide on salaries of private sector workers, the student allowances, the unemployed people's situation, old age pensions and allowances. We expect a serious and genuine salary increase to be comprehensive and address the broader financial poverty of Batswana. UDC will not be and is not excite by a 3 or 7 percent adjustment which is intended to buy the votes. Take such adjustments because those are your entitlements but demand a salary increase. Do not be deceived into complacency by the BDP.
We have known it for more than 53 years. They prefer foreign investors over workers and Batswana's owned business. This is the same BDP government which has presided over massive corruption led by its ministers and their friends since 1965. That corruption has contributed to deepened poverty, unemployment, inequality, poor infrastructure and shortages of water across the country. Batswana should not be hood-winked by the hypocritic BDP government.
At the UDC we remain committed to introducing a minimum wage of P 3 000 per month, We will raise Old Age Pension Scheme monthly payments to P 1 500 and create 100 000 jobs. This we will do within the first 12 months of our new government post October 2019 Elections.
UDC Head of Communications