Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has accused Botswana Federation of Public, Private Sector Unions (BOFEPPUSU) of stealing its limelight off the payment of back-pays for public servants.
BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi explained this week that they are surprised to see the media awash with reports that BOFEPPUSU is pushing for the ‘immediate’ payment of back-pays for public servants who are BOFEPPUSU members.
When government made salary increment last year and this year, it decided to exclude BOFEPPUSU because at that time they were still members of the currently moribund Public Service Bargaining Council (PSBC).
According to the Deputy Secretary General of the federation, Ketlhalefile Motshegwa BOFEPUSU wrote a letter to the Director of Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM), Ruth Maphorisa last month indicating that it is importantly necessary to make payment of salary increment arrears to members of the BOFEPPUSU affiliates for purpose of equity.
This week Balopi said they are the ones who spoke to government especially Minister of Finance and Economic Development Kenneth Matambo and Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Eric Molale. He stated that no one pushed that issue but the BDP.
“The proof is our resolution where the BDP resolved at its elective congress in Tonota last month that government should backdate the 3 percent salaries for public servants who did not get their increase due to the protracted legal battle between government and BOFEPPUSU. The resolution we took in Tonota said immediately. Now we see people say they have asked government to pay with immediate effect as if they are the ones who pushed the matter,” Balopi stated.
He explained that they learnt about this through a letter from BOFEPUSU to Presidential Affairs Minister Molale. Balopi however said they are not fighting over the matter but their argument is that BOFEPPUSU started talking about paying public servants their dues immediately after the BDP had taken a binding resolution on the matter.
“That decision to call for immediate payment came after they went to court, pulled out of PSBC and following our decision from the congress. We take our public service seriously and we know their worth,” he said.
Motshegwa stated that the Government had already made a unilateral increment of three percent and four percent for financial years 2016/17 and 2017/18 respectively to non-unionised public servants and unionised members of Unions not affiliated to BOFEPPUSU.
He said the DPSM boss has not responded to their call even though at the last court settlement the government has promised to pay salary arrears without any conditions.
“Other public servants have already been awarded the increment effective 1st April 2016 for financial year 2016/17 and effective 1st April 2017 for financial year 2017/18,” said Motshegwa.