Govt spiteful – BOFEPUSO

| September 6, 2013

Government was spiteful in revoking an amendment that empowers trade union leaders to switch jobs between Unions and civil service, Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSO), the largest labour movement lamented this week.

Revoking the clause, termed the second amendment means that union members voted into leadership will have return to civil service.

BOFEPUSO Publicity Secretary Goretetse Kekgonegile was responding to Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) decision this week, which also involved withdrawing government participation in the Bargaining Council. Government accuses trade unions of meddling in politics and apparent political activism. The withdrawal from Bargaining Council and revocation of second amendment threw a spanner on the on going salary negotiations. Bargaining Council consists of eight Union members and eight members from government.

BOFEPUSO said government decision to revoke the second amendment was done out of spite to destabilise trade unions. Kekgonegile is of the view that government’s action against the secretary-generals for Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) Ibo Kenosi, Botswana Sectors of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) Tobokani Rari and Botswana Land Boards, Local Authorities and Health Workers Union (BLLAHWU) Ketlhalefile Motshegwa was done using the pretext that union leaders were governed by the Public Service Act, which he said is not the case.

He argued that trade union leader are governed by the Trade Union Employers Organisation Act. He dismissed accusations that the three suspended made political statements was without basis.
“As trade unions we have the right to interrogate who we are voting for,” he said adding that the union members were never in any way involved in anything at political party level.
“We were mainly saying those in leadership should be pro labour. We were practicing our freedom of speech,” he said.
Kekgonegile vowed to fight the matter in court but said at the moment, BOFEPUSO will focus on updating its membership on the development. 

Category: News

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