Unions advocate for non-teaching staff vaccination

Just a few days after the commencement of ‘teacher prioritization’ vaccination roll-out programme, workers’ unions are now advocating for vaccination of non-teaching staff.
The two workers’ unions; National Amalgamated Local, Central Government

Parastatal Workers Union and Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) have met the Minister of Basic Education and his staff recently in regards to the issue.
According to the Unions, as much as educators are affected by the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), non-teaching staff is similarly affected as they work in the same environment.
In their meeting with Minister Fedelis Mmilili Molao, Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Basic Education and other senior members of the ministry, the following were brought to attention of Minister and his staff;

  1. That the two liberal Unions have members in all schools and educational institutions, and they are equally vulnerable to Covid 19, and numbers indicate that their members also perish as a result of the virus.
  2. That any effort to vaccinate teachers should be inclusive of the non-teaching staff, because they work under the same school environment.
  3. Leadership of the two Trade Unions, registered displeasure about colloquial structure of teachers Unions ministry debilitating those representing the non-teaching staff.
  4. That National Amalgamated Local Central Government Parastatal Workers Union Botswana Public Employees Union are minded Unions and are dispirited in dealing with COVID-19 in selective approach.
  5. That Cooks, Kitchen hands, Gatekeepers, Night Watchmen and Safety Health and Environment Officer (SHE) are in high-risk, as first contacts for students and the teaching staff.
  6. Bursars, Secretaries, Information Technology (IT) Procument. Administration Officers, Switchboard operators, Messengers, Groundsmen and Craft improvers also interact with the rest of the staff, students and are exposed to the same risk.
  7. That sanitisers and soaps are either in short supply or not supplied at schools and institutions, which poses a risk to Union members in schools institutions.
  8. That water supply in some schools, especially rural areas is a nightmare, and defeat the fight against COVID-19.
  9. That the minister should engage other ministries who has a stake in Education like;
    i. Local Government and Rural Development for the provision of sound infrastructure facilities and supplies.
    ii. Ministry of Productivity Skills Development responsible for brigades and technical colleges to a meliorate on COVID-19 compliance.
    iii. Ministry of Tertiary Education to improve on compliance issues, and for the Minister of Ministry of Basic Education (MoBE) to coalesce with office of the president regarding Centre for the Deaf Inatitutions for update and consistent customised Covid 19 precaution communications.
  10. National Amalgamated Local Central Government Parastatal Workers Union and Botswana Public Employee Union further urged Botswana Government to concentrate efforts in saving lives of Batswana by way of procuring enough vaccines and further delineate implementing a realistic vaccination roll out plan in a bid to decongest the vaccination sites.

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