Dow, teacher unions negotiations start

SHARE   |   Monday, 07 September 2015   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Matlhare and Rari Matlhare and Rari

Ministry of Education and Skills Development and teacher unions have agreed to continue with negotiations over the invigilation and course work rates.
In a meeting which was held on Thursday between Botswana Sectors of Educators Union (BOSETU), Botswana teachers Union (BTU) and Minister of Education and Skills Development Dr Unity Dow the two parties agreed to start negotiations tomorrow (Monday). 
According to BOSETU Secretary General Tobokani Rari the meeting with MOSED Dow and her Permanent Secretary Richard Matlhare came after the former questioned the legality of sectorial bargaining forum.
BOSETU and BTU vowed to boycott the marking of the course work and invigilation of the Botswana Government Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) and Junior Certificate (JC) examination if MOESD refuses to negotiate the marking and invigilation rates.
This came after MOESD PS Matlhare informed them at the aborted meeting that sectorial bargaining forum has no power to negotiate the rates.
The two teacher unions walked out of a meeting early in August after Minister Dow failed to attend viewing it as disrespect to them.
Rari revealed that at the Thursday meeting Dow and Matlhare confessed that there was some misunderstanding regarding the forum and have cleared it with Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM).
“They have informed us that they have been assured by DPSM that they can negotiate with us and we are resuming the negotiations will start on Monday,” said Rari.
Asked if they did not discuss the new bill which seeks to make invigilation and marking of course part of the teaching works, Rari answered in negative noting that it was not part of the agenda.
He said that they are going to engage the minister on the issue and make their presentation and vowed that they will not accept it. In the past before the establishment of Botswana Examination Council (BEC), the running and management of examinations was the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Education with the assistance from Cambridge University through its Cambridge Overseas Schools Certificate arrangement until 2005. BOSETU chief scribe believes that it will be regressing if MOESD wanted to go back to the old ways as it will also be against the sole mandate why BEC was formed.
In his ruling in a case in which BOSETU took MOESD to court over invigilation of external examinations, Judge Mpaphi Phumaphi ruled that the running and management of the external examinations is the sole responsibility of BEC.

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