Botswana court says teachers not 'essential'
Botswana court voids a government decree that says teachers are essential service workers and therefore unable to go on strike.
GABORONE - A Botswana court on Thursday voided a government decree that said teachers were essential service workers and therefore unable to go on strike.
"The so-called powers that the minister of labour used to declare teachers essential service workers are not compatible with the constitution of Botswana," Justice Key Dingake said.
He also ruled the government must pay court costs.
"We are obviously excited about the ruling because justice has prevailed," said Andrew Motsamai, the secretary general of the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions.
Labour unions brought the case last year after the goverment moved to stop teachers from participating in the first-ever civil servants strike, which lasted two months and forced the closure of schools and clinics.
The courts also recently ruled that all workers who were fired during the strike should be reinstated.
The government has appealed that ruling.