By Patience Nyangove
THE University of Namibia (Unam) has failed to implement a 7 percent salary increment for its workers, because of the current economic crisis bedevilling the country.
The university had agreed to the salary increment in December 2016
A letter, in possession of Confidente shows that Unam has reportedly remained mum amid demands from its workers, who want answers about the long overdue increment.
The letter, dated 23 June, was disseminated to members of the Unam bargaining unit, and deals with the implementation of the 2017 salary increment and negotiations for a salary increment for the period of 2018 to 2020.
“In December 2016, all staff members at the University of Namibia received letters from the vice-chancellor informing them that council had approved a salary increment of 7 percent, with effect January 1 2017. The letter further confirmed that the increase would be implemented on 15 February 2017 and backdated to 1 January 2017,” the document disseminated by Namibia National Teachers’ Union (NANTU) Unam branch reads.
“On 25 January 2017, the unions were invited to an urgent meeting with the director: human resources. During this meeting, it transpired that the University of Namibia was unable to implement the salary increase, as stipulated in the letters sent to staff, due to critical cash flow problems being experienced. The unions agreed to issue a joint statement to staff to advise that implementation of the salary increase would be postponed, until such time that the university’s financial position improved.”
The NANTU letter also revealed that on 16 May, the Unam management informed it that it still had no date for when it would implement the salary increment.
“During a meeting with the bargaining unit on 23 May, the unions were mandated to demand the implementation of the 2017 salary increase by 15 June. This was communicated to Unam, who advised that it would be practically impossible, due to the payroll system. No alternative date was proposed by Unam and the increase was not implemented on 15 June.
“The unions wrote a letter to Unam, demanding a response from them by 20 June, as to the non-implementation of the salary increase. To date, no reply has been received from Unam regarding this matter.”
Unam, through its public relations officer, Simon Namesho, on Tuesday acknowledged that the country’s economic woes had not spared the education institution.
“The university has a standing three-year agreement with the representing unions, on an annual inflation-related salary increase for its staff members.
“However, it is no secret that the country has fallen on hard financial times, and that the country has never had to cut down on spending, as it has had to do now. This year’s increase is outstanding, due to the current economic situation that has also affected the university. Notwithstanding the above, the university is in continuous d i s cus s i ons with the line ministries to find a solution to the matter,” Namesho said.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015