• Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

The Prime Minister has met with union representatives


Apr 14, 2022

BUJUMBURA April 14th (ABP) – Prime Minister Alain Guillaume Bunyoni met, on Wednesday April 13, 2022, representatives of Burundi workers’ and employers’ unions such as COSYBU, SYNAPA, COSSESONA, AEB.

In his speech, the Prime Minister indicated that the goal of the said meeting was to assess the state of the implementation of the various recommendations made by those union representatives, during a meeting with the Head of the State on April 30, 2021, the day before the celebration of the International Labor Day, on May 1, 2021.

On that occasion, Mr. Bunyoni gave the floor to those representatives of the various unions, to recall the concerns raised last year and to make new proposals for the challenges that still persist so that the next celebration of the International Labor Day be held in a favorable climate.

Two representatives of the Burundi Unions’ Confederation (COSYBU), a representative of COSSESONA and two representatives of the Burundi Employers’ Association (AEB) took the floor successively. On the positive side, they commended the step already taken by the government of Burundi in relation to the implementation of the fair wage policy, arguing that all stakeholders have been involved. The latter took that opportunity to ask the Head of Government of Burundi to intervene in the pleading for the rapid implementation of the implementing texts of the fair wage policy.

                                                                          View of the unionists in the meeting

Union representatives also expressed their satisfaction with the reforms in the field of social protection. They cited the revision of the social protection code aimed at improving the retirement pension. In the same context, they pleaded for retirees before 2020 and for the establishment of a fund to sustain that project.

Concerning the shortcomings which are still apparent, the union representatives pleaded for the establishment of mutual health insurance for private companies, explaining that there are private companies which do not contribute either to the mutual health insurance or for social security to their employees. The unionists also asked the Prime Minister to review the redeployment policy applied in the education and health sectors, explaining that the former redeployed who left families in the old place of work, are replaced by new recruits, contrary to what the unionists had agreed with those responsible for implementing this redeployment policy in the said sectors.

Union representatives also asked the government of Burundi to do its best to ensure that universal health coverage is effective throughout the country. They also suggested that the government of Burundi support and promote the National Social Dialogue Committee (CNDS), arguing that people do not have the will to go to the CNDS and ask it to intervene because, according to unionists, decisions made by that committee are not taken into account by the government. Hence some consider this body to be incompetent.

They ended by asking the Prime Minister to invite the various ministries to organize such dialogues from the general directorates to the ministries, so that the small questions of the workers find solution even at the low level.

The Prime Minister commended the ideas that came out. For the implementing texts of the salary policy, he promised that he will do everything possible to ensure that they are put in place as quickly as possible. For the revaluation of pensions, he pointed out that the State will give directives so that even retirees before 2020 benefit from it. The commission responsible for studying the feasibility of the policy is also invited to sit down with private sector officials to see how to apply it in the private sector. Concerning the mutual health insurance of private companies, the pension sustainability fund and the monitoring of the implementation of the redeployment policy, the Prime Minister promised that the government will look into it.

For the promotion of the CNDS, the Prime Minister invited workers and employers to contact that body which plays the role of facilitator between the State, workers and employers. He also specified that the CNDS is competent and is supported by the government. He added that the government is in the process of seeing how to provide it with sufficient means to carry out its task well.

The head of government took the opportunity to specify that matching-training-employment is one of the concerns of the government.

He invited those unionists to love work, increase production, create jobs themselves and serve as role models for young people. He ended by promising that such dialogues will be organized twice a year, starting with next year.