NYS pays its workers’ wages

Martin Endjala

The National Youth Service today resolved to pay the salaries of the Youth Security Service (YSS) following a petition handed over yesterday to management demanding their December salary amongst other things.

This was confirmed by the Public Relations Officer Belinda Hamburee, who said that the delay in the payment was due to their clients not paying due to financial constraints.

“You will receive your salary today, latest 14:00. You have been embarking on a strike without following legal procedures since yesterday. Therefore, your strike or absence from work is illegal. Management therefore advises you to return to your duty stations in the next two hours, while your salary is being processed”, this was the statement released today by management.

She further stated that they received new clients which meant that they had to recruit more YSS guards, which of these big clients, payments were delayed and since the NYS does not have reserves, and relay on what it gets from its clients, a delay was imminent.

However, Rakel Shakungu NYS Public Relations Officer, emphasized that prior to the delay of wages for the month of December 2022, a communication on the delay matter was displayed on notices and sent out, while also refuting allegations that the workers haven’t been paid on two occasions, saying that this is not true and the month of December was the only month which had salaries delayed.

This announcement follows after the workers opted not to resume work and demanded their wages, in a petition handed over yesterday, the workers demanded their salaries to be paid today, for the liquidation of both the NYS and YSS as well as to be paid on the same day as management.

Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters president Epafras mukwilongo in an interview with the Windhoek Observer expressed solidarity with the workers, threatening not to leave the site until the worker’s salaries have been paid.

NEFF Commissar Michael Amushelelo was also adamant, that he does not care how or where they get the money or if they have to take a loan, as long as the worker’s salaries have been paid in.

In response to the worker’s petition, the management statement released today, said that they have taken cognizance of the worker’s demands as spelt out in their petition handed to the Management on 17 January 2023. And therefore has decided salaries will be processed today latest by 14h00.

On the reinstatement of Selma Shangheta, who was dismissed, management said that it was done through the normal disciplinary hearing. “She had an opportunity to appeal against her dismissal. The matter is with the office of the labour commissioner and is due for conciliation on the 3rd February 2023 at 10H00. Law should take its course, there is therefore no obligation on the Company to reinstate her”, read the statement.

Additionally, management advised the workers that their demand for NYS and YSS to be liquidated, is not at Management level to allow or recommend a liquidation. Adding that they can either approach Board or Court to apply for NYS and YSS to be Liquidated.

Furthermore, on the issues of benefits, though YSS is wholly owned by NYS, management in is statement maintained that the two are separate entities. And therefore, benefits that are applicable to NYS employees are not automatically applicable to YSS employees.

Lamenting that employee Benefits are negotiable; therefore, advising workers to present their demands through a negotiating table.

The issue of Minimum Wage, the matter is said to have already been concluded through a settlement agreement which was signed between shop stewards/NISU and Management.

In terms of the agreement, the rates adjustment is envisaged to take effect 01 April 2023, on subject to client’s acceptance of the proposed rate. “Management has been engaging the clients, and we are optimistic of the positive outcome”.

Meanwhile, pay day proposal, management stated that salaries are to be paid on 10th of eachh month. Explained that payment of Salaries was changed through consultation from the 10th to the 15th day of each month to allow enough time for revenue collection.

While cautioning that should they change back to the 10th, the situation will be worse than now, therefore the status quo shall remain.

Another proposal was on Managers, drivers and supervisors to be paid salaries on the same day as guards. This category of employee’s management said, have a basic salary which does not need verification, therefore there is no need to subject them to the same salary date as guards.

“YSS must have its own manager. YSS is financially unable to maintain a manager’s salary, hence a secondment of someone from NYS. As soon as YSS financial situation improves, then a manager will be appointed under the YSS payroll”, read the statement.

Workers also demanded for every zone to have its own vehicle. Of which management was quick to reiterate that YSS financially can’t afford to acquire vehicles for each zone. Assuring that this will however happen when the financial situation has improved.

By Observer