Security unions sign agreement on wage increases

10 Jul 2014 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 10 JUL (NAMPA) – Union representatives from the security sector have reached an agreement on minimum wages for security guards in Namibia.
Representatives from the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and union representatives from the Security Association of Namibia (SAN), Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (NATAU), Namibia Security Guards and Watchmen’s Union (NSGWU) and Namibia Independent Security Union (NISU) held a signing agreement here on Thursday.
Director for Labour Services at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Felix Musukubili told members of the media during the signing ceremony that the security sector is a highly organised sector as they have created the Namibia Security Labour Forum to discuss other issues besides minimum wages.
He said it was through collective bargaining wages that an agreement was reached by the unions.
The unions therefore agreed that the current minimum wage of N.dollars 5 per hour will be adjusted to N.dollars 6.75 per hour as from 01 August 2014.
The entry-level minimum wage will however be adjusted from N.dollars 5 per hour to N.dollars 5.30.
The agreement also entails that a uniform fee of N.dollars 300 will be deducted from security guards upon employment and will be refunded to them upon termination of service, provided they return their uniforms to their employers.
The agreement further entails that the shift bonus will be replaced with adherence to the provisions of the Labour Act, 2007 (Act No 11 of 2007) in relation to payment of overtime night work, work on Sundays and public holidays as required by the act.
The N.dollars 6.75 rate will be increased to N.dollars 7 per month on 01 August 2015.
The agreement will run for a period of two years as from next month and will expire in August 2016.
“The problem is that when people or parties come with a predetermined position it makes negotiations difficult and as always, that results in industrial action. It was through compromise that a settlement was reached,” Musukubili said.
NSGWU Secretary-General David Frans said the negotiations were mainly based on entry level salaries and thus excluded benefits like medical aid and transport benefits.
“We were contemplating implementing pension benefits while awaiting the implementation of the Social Security Commission (SSC) Act. We found that there was no point negotiating for pension funds for only some individuals. Parties will have to explore those options themselves,” Frans said.
The union representatives also expressed concern over the non-compliance of some employers of security companies who might not want to pay employees the agreed wages, and urged employees to report these employers to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare.