Omaruru municipal staff demand salary increment

09 Apr 2017 13:20pm
OMARURU, 09 APR (NAMPA) - The staff of the Omaruru Municipality held a peaceful demonstration on Friday to demand the implementation of a three per cent salary increment for the 2016/17 financial year.
The staff members are threatening to down tools if the municipality does not pay them the overdue increment backdated to 01 July 2016 on their next pay day of 25 April.
“If the council ignores your demands, my office will facilitate a legal process with the Labour Commission that might end up in total no work action,” Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu)’s Omaruru branch organiser Richard Kayimbi told the employees during the demonstration.
According to Kayimbi, the municipality’s management committee agreed to the increment in August last year and the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development approved the increment in March this year.
The staff however decided to demonstrate after the Municipality's acting Chief Executive Officer, Elifas Amunyela told them the line ministry had telephonically informed his office to put the increment on hold.
A management official of the municipality who spoke on condition of anonymity told Nampa the line ministry does not communicate such decisions by telephone, but in writing. The official also said the increment, although negotiated by the management committee, was never budgeted for under the current budget hence the municipality’s reluctance to commit to the bill that will require the municipality to divert funds budgeted for something else to cater for the increment.
After seeing a copy of the letter approving the increment by Nghidinua Daniel, the Permanent Secretary of the line ministry, Nampa tried following up with the ministry to confirm the phone call that cancelled the increment, but no one was immediately available to respond.
The municipal staff are also demanding that delayed negotiations for salary increments for 2017/18 financial commence as soon as possible.
According to a petition received by Amunyela, the negotiations were supposed to have started in February, and for those negotiations to commence they also demanded a meeting with management committee on Monday (10 April).
The municipal staff gave the management committee seven working days from Friday to respond to their demands on the overdue increment and to start the negotiations for 2017/18 salary increment according to their recognition agreement.
Both Amunyela and the town’s mayor, Hendrina Gebhardt did not respond to questions sent to them.