Public sector unions' decision to reject government proposal for deferment of 6 and 10 percent salary increase for public servants could be in vain as the decision has already been taken. Government through the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) this week Thursday gathered the unions at Mass Media Complex to discuss the deferment of the 6 and 10 percent increment that was agreed upon in Lobatse last year. The decision is also contained in the Collective Labour Agreement.
The six unions are BOPEU, BTU, MANUAL WORKERS UNION, BOSETU, BONU and BLAHWU. The employer revealed that there had to be deferment of the payment of the agreed 6 percent and 10 percent increment owing to the COVID-19 pandemic implications. The unions expressed their discomfort with this development arguing that it was communicated late.
The six public sector unions indicated that taking into consideration that the 6 and 10 percent agreement and its implementation date was agreed upon in a negotiation process which they had got mandate from their constituents, it would only be fair that they be given an opportunity to consult their structures, and as such, they “would NOT accede to the government proposal prior to the consultation process," said Tobokani Rari.
Rari is the Coordinator of the six unions. He added that they need time to engage their respective members which will also be a challenge because of extreme social distancing. However documents seen by this publication have revealed that ahead of the meeting with the unions, implementation of the decision had already been communicated with various ministries and departments.
"Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 the government has raised flag regarding its inability to afford increases for 2020/21 as previously negotiated with public sector unions in 2019 and locked in for two years, financial years of 2019/20 and 2020/21. “Officers are informed that government has directed that processing of salary adjustments be in abeyance until further notice," reads a Savingram dated April 16th 2020. Late last month DPSM Director Goitseone Mosalakatane issued a Directive that there would be an increase with effect from April 1st 2020.