OF PSBC MEETING AND THE COURT CASE
By Super User
Nature of the meeting
The PSBC was convened on 18th April 2017 at 1400hrs at the Botswana Bureau of Standards. The purpose of the special meeting was to continue with the negotiations of the Public service salaries and other conditions of service for the financial year 2016/17.
Trade Union Party to the PSBC (BOFEPUSU AJA) Compromises
At this meeting, the union party, just from the beginning, extended its hand to the employer party that it (Union party) accepts the 3% that the employer party tabled on 2nd November 2016. The BOFEPUSU AJA further indicated that as a consequence of the gesture to compromise and accept the 3%, the council should not waste time and deliberate on each and every item on agenda.
The BOFEPUSU AJA compromised to accept the 3% in view of the fact that the public service is currently deeply divided and polarized owing to differential treatment with the 3% issue, and as such, it (Union party) endeavors to act in the interest of the nation to bring harmony, peace, stability and sanity within the public Service.
Employer Party refuses to embrace the compromise
The Employer party on the other hand, could not embrace the acceptance of the 3% by the Union party, but instead wanted the agenda to be changed to include an item on the compliance to the PSBC constitution. Though the Union party was not averse to the discussion of the item, it indicated that the item could not be accepted owing to the fact that the meeting was special and specifically convened to continue the discussions on the 2016/17 Salary Negotiations and as such a council meeting to deal with issues of compliance can be convened at any time.
The Trade Union Party further reasoned that even if the there was no compliance on the part of the Trade Union party, which is not the case, the procedure would have to be followed for the council to arrive at a decision that its (Trade Union Party) membership of the PSBC should be terminated, hence refusing to execute the PSBC duties is tantamount to closing the council.
The Trade Union Party further clarified that until Council has made such a decision, any party to the Council remains legitimately admitted and the Council remains competent to transact the business of the Council in all matters including among others matters of salary negotiations.
The employer party stuck to its guns and indicated that they would not continue with the salary negotiation meeting if the issue of compliance is not dealt with and would only return to a negotiation table if the membership audit for the Trade Union party has been carried out. The employer party decided to abandon the talks on the basis that the union party should be audited first whilst knowing quite well that the union party was audited just in October 2016.
13. The federation leadership has been in discussion with its attorneys to map a way forward with respect to this bizarre conduct by the employer party with a view to ponder on the prospects to litigate.
14. Meanwhile, as reiterated elsewhere in this release, the Trade Union Party, BOFEPUSU AJA, has submitted its audited numbers and expects that the secretariat would commence its audit.
Appeal of Justice Motswagole's Judgment and Application of Stay of Execution of the same
15. Meanwhile, it has to be noted that BOPEU and Government, acting in cohorts have appealed the judgment in which the High Court held that the scope of the PSBC covers all public servants including the non – unionized, members of management and the unionized who are outside the PSBC.
16. The purpose of the appeal and the consequent application for stay of execution is to have the scope of the PSBC restricted only to public servants whose unions are admitted to the PSBC, and as a result, paving way for Government to continue to award the 3% and 4% only to public servants whose Unions are Non – BOFEPUSU affiliates.
17. This explains the conduct of Government of refusing to negotiate under the pretext of non – compliance to the PSBC constitution. They (Government) hope that the court would grant them a stay and then continue awarding a 3% and a 4% to the non – unionized and those whose unions are outside PSBC hence attempting to put BO
18. The conduct of government is a carefully orchestrated plan carried out in conjunction with BOPEU to frustrate and attempt to dismantle the Bargaining Council. This matter of compliance is the one that BOPEU took to court but could not succeed on it and now it is being picked by Government in the council.
19. It has to be recalled that the General Secretary of BOPEU Mr. Topias Marenga went public that the PSBC meeting would not discuss salary negotiations, but rather would only discuss the issue of compliance. True to his word the employer insisted that the issue of compliance should be part of the meeting's agenda and should be discussed first. This goes a long way to show how BOPEU has become part of the bigger scheme in defeating the bargaining principle in this country.
The Stay of Execution of the Motswagole’s judgment case was heard on 21st and 22nd April 2017. Justice Gaongalelwe, having heard the parties, reserved the judgment to what he said would be "soon". We are convinced that we had filed a very good defense and our lawyers did their best. It remains with the honourable judge to adjudicate. We remain optimistic that the judgment would come in our favour. We would like to thank very much all the wokers from the BOFEPUSU affiliated unions, workers in general and for having thronged the court in large numbers. We as usually appeal for your patience as we traverse this rather difficult path. We remain convinced that we are fighting a good course and shall very soon clear the path.
Appeal for Patience from the General Membership
Once more we appeal to the General membership to remain focused and trusting bearing in mind that this is just a small fight within a bigger war which the workers of this country would ultimately win. We should stick to the conviction that workers of this country shall not be defeated. We appeal once more for your patience Comrades as we go through these rather delaying hurdles.
Tobokani Nicholas Rari is BOSETU Secretary General
You may like
Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup
With almost two weeks until the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup, which will be staged in Kenya from June 12-17, 2023, the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) ladies’ team coach, Ernest Seleke, is optimistic about reaching greater heights.
Billie Jean King Cup, or the BJK Cup, is a premier international team competition in women’s tennis, launched as the Federation Cup to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The BJK Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.
The finals will feature 12 teams (Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) competing in the four round-robin groups of three. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals, and the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup will be crowned after the completion of the knockout phase.
Closer to home, the BW Tennis team is comprised of Thato Madikwe, Leungo Monnayoo, Chelsea Chakanyuka, and Kelebogile Monnayoo. However, according to Seleke, they have not assembled the team yet as some of the players are still engaged.
“At the moment, we are depending on the players and their respective coaches in terms of training. However, I will meet up with Botswana-based players in the coming week, while the United States of America (USA) based player Madikwe will probably meet us in Kenya. Furthermore, Ekua Youri and Naledi Raguin, who are based in Spain and France respectively, will not be joining us as they will be writing their examinations,” said Seleke.
Seleke further highlighted the significance of this competition and how competitive it is. “It is a massive platform for our players to showcase their talent in tennis, and it is very competitive as countries target to get promoted to the world categories where they get to face big nations such as Spain, France, USA, and Italy. Though we are going to this tournament as underdogs because it is our second time participating, I’m confident that the girls will put in a good showing and emerge with results despite the odds,” highlighted Seleke.
Quizzed about their debut performance at the BJK Cup, he said, “I think our performance was fair considering the fact that we were newbies. We came third in our group after losing to North Macedonia and South Africa. We went on to beat Uganda, then Kenya in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play Burundi due to heavy rainfall and settled for the position 9/10,” he said.
For her part, team representative Leungo Monnayoo said they are working hard as they aim to do well at the tourney. “The preparations for the tourney have long begun because we practice each and every day. We want to do well, hence we need to be motivated. Furthermore, I believe in my team as we have set ourselves a big target of coming home with the trophy,” she said.
Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS
The Guidance and Counseling unit at Popagano Junior Secondary School received a donation of 790 sanitary towels from Pep stores on Thursday.
When presenting the donation, Mareledi Thebeng, the Dinokaneng Area Manager, highlighted their belief in giving back to the community, as their existence depends on the communities they serve. Thebeng pointed out that research indicates one in four girls miss school every day due to the lack of basic necessities like sanitary towels. Therefore, as a company, they strive to assist in alleviating this situation. She expressed hope that this donation would help ensure uninterrupted learning for girls.
Upon receiving the donation on behalf of the students, Charity Sambire, the President of the Student Representative Council, expressed her gratitude. Sambire specifically thanked Pep Store for their generous gift, speaking on behalf of the students, especially the girl child.
She conveyed their sincere appreciation for Pep Store’s compassion and quoted the adage, “Blessed is the hand that gives.” Sambire expressed the students’ hope for Pep Stores’ prosperity, enabling them to continue supporting the students. As a gesture of gratitude, the students pledged to excel academically.
During her speech, Motlalepula Madome, the Senior Teacher in Guidance and Counseling, highlighted that many students at the school come from disadvantaged backgrounds where parents struggle to provide basic necessities. Consequently, some students miss school when they experience menstruation due to this lack.
Madome emphasized the significance of the donation in preventing the girl child from missing lessons and its potential to improve the school’s overall results. She expressed the school’s gratitude and expressed a desire for continued support from Pep Stores.
Popagano Junior Secondary School, situated in the Okavango District, holds the second position academically in the North West region. Despite its location, the school has been dedicated to achieving excellence since 2017
Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting
The Pan African Parliament (PAP) committee on gender, family, youth and people with disability in its sitting considered, adopted and recommended to the plenary session the preliminary report on the framework for the model law on gender equality.
According to the last week’s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd, the committee is following up the PAP initiative to draw up a model law on gender equality to enable national governments to harmonize, modernize and standardize their legislations to address local needs is set to be discussed in Plenary.
However, what is concerning is the fact that Botswana which is a member state missed the deliberations. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko who sat in the committee representing Botswana has since been ejected by parliament and this is a huge blow for a nation that is still battling equity and gender balance.
“Although PAP has no legislative powers it makes model laws for member states to adopt. PAP also develops protocols to be ratified by countries. The input of countries at Committee state is extremely critical. It now means the voice of Botswana is missing the discussions leading up to development of protocols or model laws,” said one of Botswana’s representative at PAP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who is attending the current session.
While Botswana is missing, the committee meeting took place on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP second ordinary Session being held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” in Midrand, South Africa and will run up to 2 June 2023. Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala expressed satisfaction with preliminary processes undertaken so far towards the formulation of the Model Law,” a release from the PAP website reads.
“The law should be suitable to all countries whatever the predominant culture or religion is. The aim is to give an opportunity to women to participate in the economic, political and social development of the continent. Women are not well positioned and face a lot of obstacles. We are introducing the idea of equity in the Law because we cannot talk about equality without equity,” said Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala in the press statement.
The release has stated that among issues to be covered by the Model Law is the migratory movements of women. The Committee proffered that this has to be addressed at the continental level to ensure that migrant women enjoy all their rights and live with dignity in their destination country. The members of the Gender Committee undertook consultations to consolidate the contributions of the various stakeholders that will be the logical framework format for the Model Law.