By Hilary Mare
GOVERNMENT and the Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU) have confirmed the finalisation of wage negotiations with workers body Napwu acknowledging that after having looked at economic indicators they have decided to heed Government’s call and have accepted an increment of only five percent.
Napwu general secretary Petrus Nevonga affirming the agreement stated that sometimes they negotiate high increases and sometimes low increases but this time they have felt going low is the right thing to do given the current fiscal status.
“Economic indicators are what inform our negotiations and it is on that basis that we have agreed to this percentage and our members have accepted it not because it is what they want but this period in which we are negotiating is also a critical time for country.
“Napwu has signed till the next financial year and we are looking forward to the next negotiation. We have come a long way and we believe it should always be a win win and give and take situation with these negotiations. There are times we go high and there are also times we go low but we always strive for the best for Government employees. We had heard the call to support the teachers in their cause but we can only do what is right,” he said.
This agreement comes at a time when Government has failed to reach an agreement with the Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu) on salary and benefit adjustments for teachers for the year 2017/18 with Government pushing for a court interdict to help resolve issues that it has failed to agree on with the teachers, such as hiring of external invigilators and laws regarding period of notice that Government can be given before a strike in accordance with the Labour Act.
Acknowledging Napwu’s resolve, President Hage Geingob who was speaking at State House this week where he met the top executive of Napwu highlighted that Government was thankful of the understanding shown by the body in the negotiations.
“Napwu has accepted five percent. If we had the means we would have given even as high as 10 percent but the reality of the situation is that we are not able to in the face of drought, an impending power crisis, SACU-where we have to pay back millions-, falling of commodity prices and other economic issues. We are thankful to Napwu and assure them that this is not the end of it we will come back to negotiate better increments,” said Geingob.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015