Botswana Sector of Educators Trade Union (BOSETU) has threatened to take legal action against government if their demand for teachers to be paid their arrears for multiple titling and grading is not honoured.

Government has for long stated that work is in progress to pay accordingly all the teaching staff who were eligible for multiple titling and grading of C-Band positions. The teachers were owed as at 2007 as per the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) Savingram on multiple titling and multiple grading of C-band positions.

The directive issued by DPSM in 2001 aimed at among others reducing the period of progression from one grade to another from three years to two years and to facilitate faster progression of serving officers who qualified.

The objective of Directive No. 6 of 2008 was to facilitate direct appointment of graduates with appropriate academic qualifications at entry level, but without experience.

It further states that the objective of multiple grading and multiple titling all positions in the C Band was to facilitate faster progression of serving officers who qualify for promotion without the need for ministries to request for

additional posts or resources.

BOSETU Secretary General, Tobokani Rari stated that they will be meeting with the DPSM this week to discuss the matter. He said since multiple titling and grading were introduced some departments did not implement the policy.

He revealed that since the policy was introduced, teachers have not benefited from the back pays. He said the permanent secretary in the ministry of education has indicated that in 2008 teachers were not employed by the DPSM.

According to Rari, the matter has since been escalated to the DPSM and the matter will be discussed this week. He stated that they are hoping for a fruitful engagement. Rari revealed that if the engagement is not fruitful,

BOSETU will litigate. Rari said the union is concerned about the workload of teachers.

“According to the Establishment Registrar, teachers should have four classes with a number of 29 students. What we see now is disheartening. We now see a teacher having classes with over 40 students. This is one of the contributing factors for the declining examinations results”, Rari stated.

He explained that for a teacher, work is not only standing in front of a class. He expressed concern that the quality of education is falling. The blame is always levelled against teachers for the poor results, he said.

“Stakeholders are not taking into account the workload of teachers, lack of resources like books, tables and chairs. We will be meeting the ministry of education to find a common ground on how the results should be improved.

“But the key among others, are resources, reduction of workload and classes. We have instructed our members that they should stick to the establishment registrar and should not do anything outside that”, Rari said, adding that as the union they are fighting for policies that benefit teachers.