Zambezi teachers boycott meeting on looming strike

06 Sep 2016 17:00pm
KATIMA MULILO, 06 SEP (NAMPA) - Teachers in the Zambezi Region boycotted a meeting called by regional governor Lawrence Sampofu at Katima Mulilo on Monday to discuss their possible strike.
Sampofu was to deliver a message by Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa on the wage negotiations with the Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu) on the wage increase issue.
Only the teaching staff of Brendan Simbwaye Primary School, where the meeting was held, were in attendance. They told members of the media teachers from other schools decided to stay away.
The meeting, which was overseen by Education Human Resources Director, Bollen Khama, who is also the head of the delegation monitoring the voting process, lasted less than 30 minutes.
Nantu members are voting on whether to strike or not from Tuesday until 15 September after negotiations with the government failed.
Those in attendance also chose to remain silent when given the opportunity to ask questions.
Sampofu pleaded with the teachers to vote against striking.
He said Government is aware of the teachers’ needs, but the eight per cent salary increment they are demanding is not a pressing priority at this stage, adding that there are more pressing matters such as the drought that need to be addressed.
“It is not that Government doesn’t want to attend to your needs, but there are other competing priorities that Government must tackle first. I am urging all of you not to vote for the strike to take place. This is the message from your minister, and as the governor, I too am pleading against the strike,” Sampofu said.
Government is willing to give five per cent this year and seven per cent next year.