Labour Relations Critical

| December 3, 2014 | 0 Comments

President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama says public service workers should put the public first and strive towards providing excellent service .

Addressing Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) members during the union’s annual convention in Palapye on Tuesday December 2, President Khama said the public was not happy with the level and quality of service offered by the public service.

He said this was a persistent complaint that he received during kgotla meetings as well as through other fora.

The 2013 customer service survey, he said revealed that the public was of the view that ministries were slow in executing services that were within their purview.

“I want to urge you to double your efforts in sensitising your members on the need to improve on the quality and speed of service that they provide to the public,” he said.

Regarding politics, he said workers should continue to uphold the public service charter principle that talked of neutrality, adding “I have noticed that in recent times during the build up to this year’s elections some but not all seemed to be drifting away from the purpose for which unions were established and instead pursued a political agenda.”

The purpose of a union, he said was to strive for better conditions of service for members to a point that was affordable.

The President noted that political agendas would bring about demands which were deliberately unrealistic and unaffordable in order to give impression to members that the government was holding back.

Regarding the national budget, he said the reality was that Botswana was not a rich country as the budget this year was only P48 billion.

The World Bank development indicators showed that the country spent around 43 per cent of its budget on employees while Malaysia spends 29 per cent and Chile 20 per cent, he said.

“The public service is only 5.6 per cent of the population so if the country spends 40 per cent on 5 per cent what about 95 per cent of Batswana?” he said.

President Khama said the country needed roads, electricity, water, ARVs, housing, ISPAAD and poverty eradication hence pressure on the budget.

He said there was need to find money to pay for all those as well as pay debts which amounted to P14 billion, with P1 billion having been paid at P850 million per year.

The President said there was need to reduce conflicts in the workplace and facilitate constructive labour relations aimed at improving productivity.

He also said there was need to improve and sharpen skills for better implementation of processes that could lead to improved productivity and returns for the country and ultimately translate into increases in salaries and vibrant economy.

To achieve that public service workers should guard against issues of corruption, red tape and related elements, he said.

“The public service is responsible for among others implementation of projects

President Khama said it was critical that the country focused on reducing inequalities in the workplace through among others being mindful of gender and disability issues.

“My government has set out to create employment for all regardless of the sectors of society they belong to,” he said.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: General

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