NANTU gives OPM five days to revise salary negotiations

31 May 2016 12:20pm
WINDHOEK, 31 MAY (NAMPA) - The Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU) has given the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) five working days to revise the parameter of the salary negotiation on the union’s demands, effective from 31 May.
Speaking at a media briefing in the capital on Monday, NANTU secretary-general Basilius Haingura told the media that a subcommittee comprising of the union and a Government delegation met on 16 and 17 May to formulate an agreement and to settle the matter but the subcommittees could however not reach consensus.
The internal dispute period, as provided in the Recognition Agreement Clause 11, lapsed on 27 May.
Haingura said in terms of regulations under the Public Service Act, (13 of 1995) Section 32 Subsection 8, if an agreement between the parties has not been reached and before a formal dispute is lodged with the Labour Commissioner, an attempt shall be made to settle the dispute according to the procedures of settling an internal dispute.
If a deadlock however still exists after the internal dispute settling procedure has been followed, the OPM shall immediately draft suggestions with advice from the Commissioner and may revise the parameters for the purpose of further negotiation.
According to Haingura, they were supposed to have negotiated for a three-year rolling budget but because of certain issues they were not able to conclude negotiations as normal.
“That’s why last year we agreed on five per cent. This year we are busy engaging them, that is why we are stilling here and for next year (2017/2018) we agreed on principle that we are going to get a 7 per cent salary increment and 7 per cent for transport.”
He noted there is no way for them to agree on the five per cent salary increment that Government is offering this year, as it is below inflation and the union is demanding an 8 per cent salary increment.
“During that meeting, we were trying to resolve the matter in a small group of which the government team still maintained their position of five per cent, which is below inflation and which is why we say we cannot buy that.”
Haingura went on to say Government was not prepared to increase their offer because of the drought and other national issues.
The union has 16 800 members and the salary negotiation is for teachers teaching grades 5 to 9.
Early Monday, NANTU and the Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU) had a consultative meeting with Vice-President Nickey Iyambo regarding the salary increment for civil servants.
Haingura was however reluctant to divulge any information on what was discussed at the closed-door meeting with Iyambo.