GOVERNMENT MUST BE SERIOUS ABOUT WORKERS CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

SHARE   |   Monday, 24 June 2019   |   By Ricardo Kanono
GOVERNMENT MUST BE SERIOUS ABOUT WORKERS CONDITIONS OF SERVICE
1. We refer to the captioned matter 
 
2. Botswana Land Boards Local Authorities and Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU ) is absolutely infuriated and irritated by the reckless and arrogant attitude by  Government in relation to welfare of workers in this Country , and to be precise, that is in respect of public servants conditions of service which are supposed to be negotiated now .
 
3.. The genesis of the matter date as far back as  December 2017 when the Government commissioned a consultancy report by PEMANDU of Malaysia .
 
3.2 We wondered in shock as to why Government couldn't engage  local Consultancy companies in the spirit of citizen empowerment , and to tap on people who execute the task with the understanding of the Country 's context of Industrial Relations . This is clear indication that Government does not trust her own citizens .
 
3.3 It is painfully disturbing that Government has a perennial tendency of commissioning  Consultancies at tax paper cost , but such findings never see the light of the day pertaining to the recommendations offered   This is utter waste of public  resources,  and qualifies as  maladministration and corruption.
 
4. With regard to PEMANDU Consultancy work ,  after commission of the work by Government the Trade Unions compiled their proposal to engage in the process of negotiations. The Trade Unions proposal was ready by February 2019 and Government was duly informed Government so that the parties could meet. The  Government indicated in response that their report/proposal is not ready , which was not true as there was evidence that the report was already submitted by the Consultant. This indicate continuation of tricks by Government to play games on serious matters of welfare of workers, because it is now a one year and six months months now since engagement of PEMANDU Consultants who have long submitted their report to Government .
 
4.2 What now comes out clear is that Government will implement recommendations by PEMANDU , as they all of sudden say , the report is not their position. 
 
4.3 As things stand , the Unions have long submitted their position paper to Government , and submitted an updated version again . We are now waiting for the Government to come to the table for negotiation with good faith.
 
5. It ought to be emphasised that Tade Unions made several requests to meet with the employer , and that has not produced any fruits. As way forward Unions  ended up appealing to both Minister of Presidential Affairs  Nonofo Molefi and President Mokgweetsi Masisi for their intervention in giving an appropriate  mandate to DPSM to engage the Unions .This too has been a futile exercise as Government 's attitude has not changed with regard to workers welfare and Trade Union rrights .
 
6.  It is clear that the Government does not have regard for workers welfare as exemplifyed by the continued sabotage of attempts to meet over conditions of service .
 
7. We call upon workers to be vigilant , be conciousness enough to understand that their victory is in their hands . They need to be united in solidarity as a concious class and know that their enemy is the employer . 
It must be within their understanding that poor conditions of service, misery , despair  among workers must be blamed upon Government . In this Country we have workers who continue to face the wrath of economic hardship  as result of salaries that can't match the cost of living , poor conditions of service in the workplace which indicate deficiency of social justice, dignity and equity.
 
8. The state of this Country 's Industrial Relations is characterised by  Government that abhors Trade Unions to the extent that DPSM and Ministries just can't easily meet Unions for discussion of employees grievances and welfare. In instances where there would have been a meeting after a long time , the decisions of such  meetings are just ignored with impunity. Furthermore the Public Service Bargaining Council is non existent as Government continues to frustrate efforts to resurcitate it , there are bad labour laws and as common Government have failed to act on the recommendations of Committee of Application of Standards on time. There is seriously lack of appetite on the part of Government to improve the state of Industrial Relations. 
 
9. We at BLLAHWU shall remain dedicated to the working class agenda for greatest welfare and respect for workers of this Country . It is our continued believe that workers as creators of wealth deserve proceeds from economic prosperity of this Country. BLLAHWU remain the torch bearer of progressive labour politics and shall forever be relentless in fight for workers rights . 
 
Yours in Solidarity Justice & Prosperity 
 
Thatayaone Kesebonye 
President
 



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