Welcomes increment, but had wanted same percentage increase for all
Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) – an umbrella federation of public sector unions – says although the proposal of public servants salary increment reached 10% hike as per the negotiations with the Director of Public Service Management (DPSM), the federation however is not happy that increment is not the same for all the salary bands.
Secretary General Tobokani Rari said they are happy with the government‘s efforts for the 10 per cent hike for the A and B salary scales and 6 percent for C and D scales.
He, however, said the agreement reached is at variance with what they demanded. Their view as BOFEPUSU is that if the increment is in a pyramid form then that it’s not the same for all the salary scales. However the trade unions remain content that the increment is a product of a negotiation process that requires parties to reason with each other and to both compromise on their demands.
“Our view as BOFEPUSU is that at least our long- held principle of differential increment or a pyramid form of increment has been realised. Moreover, the increment was necessary to cushion employees against accumulated inflation that has never been wholly cushioned for the past five years,” he added.
Rari said the hike as demanded by the unions was necessary to push salaries of employees particularly those at the bottom of the government pay structure to attain living wage at least by 2022.
“The salary hike was necessary to raise the morale of public servants, hence increasing productivity, as stated in the different reports of enquiries about remunerations in the local public service including in the PEMANDU. The public service salaries are not competitive as compared to other countries in the region, hence there was a need for an increment,” reckoned Rari.
Meanwhile, Rari said the importance of the Public Service Bargaining Council (PSBC) as an institution cannot be overemphasized. He said BOFEPUSU will continue pushing for the resuscitation of the bargaining council, adding that a collective and industrial relations need strong legal institutions such as the PSBC.
He stressed that the PSBC is an institution provided for in the legislation, Public Service Act and therefore said as a federation they are looking forward for good working relations with DPSM.
“We take that in this case, the good atmosphere that prevailed during the negotiations is the beginning of the building up of good relations between DPSM and the federation. However, this will depend on how parties would continue to build up the relations from this event and on our side as BOFEPUSU, will try our best to nurture the relations,” he said.
The government’s proposal of 10% salary hike will come into effect on 1st April 2019.