Chobe District Council Employee Grievances Worrisome

| December 11, 2014 | 0 Comments

The regional labour officer in Chobe District has complained of many employee complaints from the district council.

Speaking at a one-day workshop on labour rights for employees of the council on December 8, Mr Luckson Likokoto said there were a number of complaints from council employees registered with his office and the district commissioner hence the workshop.

He noted that this was due to employees not being given proper platforms to air their views and complaints within the organisation. “Most of the cases that we are dealing with should not have been reported to my office in the first place as they could have easily been solved by departmental heads within the council,” he said.

Employees complained that the council did not hold regular staff meetings and other departments within the council did not hold meetings, which escalated complaints and grievances by staff members.

Other complaints related to being denied payment of overtime, lack of transparency in acting appointments, failure to address staff grievances and general lack of communication within the organisation.

Regarding overtime, Mr Likokoto explained that overtime must be paid and not compensated with off days unless the employee opts to. “It is wrong to have the employee work overtime then force them to be compensated through off days,” he said in response to a complaint about this practice.

In instances where the organisation does not have money to pay overtime, this must be discussed beforehand so that employees are brought on board. Council employees complained about the lack of visibility by the Department of Labour and Social Security as they were only meeting them for the first time.

In his remarks, the Chobe District commissioner, Dr Temba Mmusi also confirmed that he had received a lot of cases concerning the council.

The human resource officer Ms Ontiretse Basimalakane explained that some heads do not hold meetings because they no longer want to face their subordinates as persistent issues drag on but never get solved.

In a side-line interview, Ms Basimalakane confirmed that they had received numerous complaints from the council employees, some of which were passed on to the DC and labour offices. Ms Basimalakane also admitted that though the council held a staff meeting recently, they had gone long without having such.

The year 2014 she said had a lot of employee complaints and grievances. When closing the workshop, Mr Likokoto explained that the workshop was not to crucify anybody in particular, but to improve relations between the employer and employees.

He emphasised the need for consultation in the workplace, adding that such prevents problems from escalating to the level that they have at the council.

Employees aised that the regional labour officer arrange a meeting with the management to educate them on labour issues to improve working conditions at the institution. The workshops will be rolled out to other workers in different sectors such as domestic workers.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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