Northern NAPWU members threaten to terminate membership

09 Jan 2015 09:40am
OLUNO, 09 JAN (NAMPA) – A group of Government administrative officers in northern Namibia is accusing the Namibia Public Workers’ Union (NAPWU) of neglecting the interest of its members in favour of their employer.
Speaking to Nampa at Ondangwa’s Oluno suburb on Wednesday, representatives of the group blamed the NAPWU leadership for Government’s reluctance to improve their conditions of employment since November 2012.
Disgruntled administrative officers, as well as institutional workers such as cleaners, gathered at Oluno on Monday to discuss the government’s reluctance to pay them better salaries.
The discussions included the payment of “bush allowances” to administrative officers and institutional employees working in remote areas.
The workers said it is unfair that Government pay bush allowances only to teachers working in rural areas, while excluding other public servants.
“The purpose of the meeting we held here on Monday was to claim incentives for administrative officers who work in remote areas as agreed upon between NAPWU, Namibia National Teachers’ Union (NANTU) and the government in 2012,” the group’s representatives noted.
They singled out NAPWU representative in northern Namibia, Nelson Nghitaunapo, of having promised them during general election campaigns in November last year that the government had agreed and was going to improve their working conditions before the end of 2014.
Nghitaunapo allegedly made such promises when he addressed several meetings at different school circuits in northern Namibia, and informed those in attendance that the implementation of their improved conditions of employment would be carried out in November and December last year.
“The members feel betrayed by the NAPWU leadership for waiting too long - about three years. They are frustrated and very demoralised to perform their duties when seeing other public servants receiving incentives while working in the same environments,” the group argued.
It added that they have lost trust in NAPWU, because of its many empty promises and lack of action towards their demands.
“The union is seemingly protecting the government instead of serving the interest of its members,” said the group’s representatives, who all preferred to remain unnamed out of fear of victimization.
The group’s representatives said that close to 400 NAPWU members attended the Oluno meeting on Monday, and they agreed to demand a salary of N.dollars 150 000 per annum for each administrative officer and N.dollars 70 000 per annum for cleaners as from the 31st of this month.
They also requested the NAPWU leadership to provide them with a positive answer before or on Wednesday next week, adding that if the leadership of the union continues to ignore taking up their matter with the government they will consider terminating their membership with NAPWU.
Community councillors, who are providing counselling services in the Ministry of Health and Social Services in the Oshana Region, also last year accused NAPWU of not serving their interest, and at the same time threatened to resign from the union.
Nghitaunapo was not immediately available to give his side of the story. His mobile phone remained unavailable as on Wednesday and Thursday, while the NAPWU regional office at Oshakati is closed for the festive season until Monday next week.