18 Jun 2013 07:40
WINDHOEK, 18 JUN (NAMPA) - The Namibia Qualifications Authority (NQA) and the Namibia Public Workers? Union (Napwu) signed a recognition and collective bargaining agreement here on Tuesday.
The agreement aims to fortify the parties' accord towards effective, efficient and collective industrial labour relations.
The NQA employs 28 employees, of which 18 are paid-up Napwu members.
Signing on behalf of the NQA, its chief executive officer (CEO) Franz Gertze explained that the NQA was established as a State-owned enterprise (SOE) late last year, hence the agreement only being signed now.
He said by this premise, the parties are not only acknowledging the essential roles they play as far as industrial relations are concerned, but the pinnacle of the agreement is the parties' mutual undertaking to engage in 'good faith relations' for the ultimate benefit of the NQA employees, who remain one of the most essential resources of the NQA.
Gertze noted that Namibia has developed a very sound industrial relations framework based on conciliation and arbitration, because the current framework allows some give-and-take on the part of both parties.
?Had an industrial relations matter been pursued solely in a civil court, the win-lose nature of the adjudication process would lead to greater industrial stress and more costs all round. This would not be an ideal way to resolve industrial relation conflicts in Namibia,? he said.
Gertze assured the union that the NQA will cooperate with it, not only on the front of industrial relations, but also in the broad area covering the entire human resources development spectrum across the nation, including education and training.
According to the NQA chief, the relationship between the NQA and organised labour is further entrenched in the philosophy which guides the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and also to execute related quality assurance functions of setting standards, accreditation and the recognition or prior learning.
The idea of the NQF was first mooted by the International Labour Organisation in the early 1970s when it wanted to see a closer link between education and employment, explained Gertze.
On his part, Napwu General Secretary Petrus Nevonga said Namibia is in the process of development, and unions need to endeavour that labour confrontation is minimised, if not, it will delay the country's development as a nation.
?We commit ourselves as a union to ensure our cooperation as stipulated in our recognition agreement,? he said.