Nantu/Napwu and GRN negotiations stalemate

Tujoromajo Kasuto

The Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu) and the Namibia National Teachers Union (Nantu) today announced that negotiations on civil servants salary and other benefits have reached a deadlock.

No agreement has been reached due to Government’s persistent on a zero offer. Nantu’s Secretary General, Petrus Nevonga, says as a result, the two bargaining unions have declared an internal dispute in accordance with clauses 13 and 11 of Nantu and Napwu recogntioon agreements respectively with the GRN. This means that the parties shall appoint a fact finding sub-committee consisting of representative from both teams with the main negotiation team temporarily adjourned to allow the sub-committee to attempt to resolve the dispute.

The sub-committee shall report its finding to the main negotiation committee within 30 days. If parties fail to reach an amicable solution within 30 days, the unions will be left with no other option but to declare an external dispute with the Office of the Labour Commission as provided for in the Labour Act of 2007.

This was expressed at a joint press conference on 11 November, which sought to update their members on the outcome of the negotiation meeting between the Government and the two bargaining unions, Nantu and Napwu, which took place on Monday. The two unions informed the public and the entire membership how all matters related to any condition of employment in the public service, including improvement of salaries and benefits, are negotiated and or settled by the negotiating team, which is the only body with exclusive mandate to negotiate and communicate decisions reached to its respective constituencies.

Napwu and Nantu herewith appeals to their rank and file members to remain calm while the sub-committee is exhausting the internal dispute procedures as provided for in their recognition agreement.
Nevonga says the outcome of the internal process will be duly communicated to their members and the public at large once the sub-committee finalises its work.

This February Napwu and Nantu presented the government with a salary and benefits increment proposal for the fiscal year 2021/2022. The unions demanded a 10% pay raise across the board, a 25% increase in qualifying amounts for housing subsidies, a 10% increase in transportation for civil servants below management, a 9% increase in housing allowances.

According to media reports, the unions received a counter offer in writing from the government this May, informing them that the government would be unable to grant salary increases for the 2021/2022 fiscal year as proposed by the unions.

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