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BOFEPUSU sets the roadmap for Masisi

BOFEPUSU sets the roadmap for Masisi
January 29
11:30 2018

THABO BAGWASI

The Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has issued incoming president, Mokgweetsi Masisi a list of demands. Key among the union’s demands is restoration of cordial working relations between the trade union movement and government.

Masisi will ascend the presidency on 1st of April owing to the end of incumbent Dr Ian Khama’s two term reign.

BOFEPUSU acting Secretary General, Mogomotsi Motshegwa outlined the federation’s demands this past week in a media briefing.

He argued that Masisi has a fiduciary duty to redeem himself especially in the labour relations sphere.

“We have from time immemorial experienced poor labour relations in this country. What we are saying is that as we witness a power transition, there are certain demands we put before Rre Masisi who will be ascending the presidency,” said Motshegwa.

Furthermore, Motshegwa implored Masisi to restore the Public Service Bargaining Council (PSBC), which he dubbed the ‘workers parliament.’

Masisi was also encouraged to repeal some draconian laws which he claimed have constricted the workers democratic space. Among some of these he quoted the Trade Disputes Act which declared professionals in the teaching services, immigration and customs services, state broadcasting services among others as essential services cadres.

He also demanded that the proposed amendment to the Public Service Act be stopped lamenting that the amendment threatens to diminish the power of BOFEPUSU as a federation as it stipulates that all the recognized trade unions will be admitted to sit in the PSBC.

“What this means is that when you have 15 trade unions, they will all have seats in the PSBC. The problem then is how you coordinate 15 trade unions each coming with their own mandate,” noted Motshegwa.

BOFEPUSU and the Khama administration share a tumultuos working relationship which came to a head in 2011 with a public service strike. The union has also had running court battles with government.

The bitter relations between the union and government saw the union wandering into open politics. It supported the opposition coalition, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) during the 2014 general elections.

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