Did Govt Err?

Daniel Chida

Union leaders lambast govt for halting salary increment

Government has reneged on an agreement it had in reference to 2018 negotiations rules for salary negotiations of financial years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021, and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) of 3rd February 2020 between itself and public sector Unions.

The new development has put in place a unilateral decision to a decree, to cut and defer salary increment of public servants for six months.

The issue has been met with different reactions from the public.

The Voice Staffer, DANIEL CHIDA engages opposition parties leadership, union leaders and some political analysts on the issue.

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Did Govt Err?
Phenyo Butale – Secretary General for Alliance for Progressives

Any decision, even during extraordinary times, needs to bring stakeholders who make our economy and society to function into confidence.

It is clear workers were not brought into confidence nor were there due processes for a give and take.

These are fundamental tenets for building a fair society even during extraordinary times.

So it was wrong for the government to renege on the agreement without consulting unions.

This trend of unilateral decision making is worrisome.

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Kebapetse Lotshwao – Political Analyst
Government has only deferred the increment, workers will be paid once the crisis has passed.

In my view, workers have nothing to worry about.

They are better, if not privileged, as other people are unemployed or will not be paid for sometime.

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Some businesses are even closed.

Did Govt Err?
Moeti Mohwasa- Head of Communications for Umbrella for Democratic Change

This was definitely well ochestrated move by the government.

We believe when the president went for the six months state of public emergency and pushed for suspension of industrial action, they had already decided not to pay civil servants the agreed increment.

This shows that contrary to what some union leaders had said about the current administration, nothing has changed.

If anything it has worsened.

There was no proper consultation. How do you wait until pay day and then tell the workers you are disregarding an existing agreement?

It is so demeaning, inconveniencing and a mockery of good labour practice and social justice.

If the government can behave like this, it goes a long way to show the type of leaders we have.

Disregard of workers and their interests is in the Botswana Democratic Party DNA. Government would never do this to Business because it is there to protect their interests.

Workers should know who their true friends are and not allow themselves to be hoodwinked.

Did Govt Err?
Roseline Panzirah Matshome- Secretary General of Botswana Patriotic Front

We are not surprised, it’s nothing new, this government is not truthful.

They say one thing and do something different all the time.

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But it all boils down to consultation, people need to learn to consult before taking action.

Did Govt Err?
Ketlhalefile Motshegwa- Deputy Secretary General for BOFEPUSU

This unfortunate action by Government is contemptuous of the spirit of good faith in negotiations and bargaining, for this unilateralism dents and toxicates industrial relations, something that is gravely terrible for the socio-economic landscape of the Country.

The Federation urges the leadership of the Country to be thoughtful enough and espouse sound industrial relations, by respecting and complying with particulars of Collective Bargaining Agreement with Public Sector Unions.

Government must be sensitive to the reality that, should she unrelentingly persist with her mission, such will further exacerbate the already virulent industrial relations in the public service.

n another note the Federation is tremendously disquieted by unabating violation of workers’ rights in private sector during Covid-19 pandemic.

There are some ruthless and vicious companies that are making drastic and prejudicial decisions affecting employees, and aggravatingly without even involving employees or their Unions.

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