The Ohangwena regional leadership of NANTU says that there is nothing wrong with NANTU negotiating for the increase of its members’ salaries, doing so in partnership with NAPWU.

There is also nothing to worry about the “jackal play” tactics associated with NAPWU.

This comes after some members of NANTU expressed disapproval with the manner in which their union has partnered with NAPWU in engaging the Government for the need to increase salaries.

The concerned members of NANTU feel that the teachers’ union can by itself successfully negotiate on their behalf instead of roping in the sister union, a union which they don’t trust.

Mr George Hafilwa, chairperson of Ohangwena NANTU, has dismissed the members’ discomfort expressed after both NANTU and NAPWU a few days ago held a joint-press conference to announce their combined forces ready to engage in battle with the Government.

“NAPWU and NANTU are recognised by the GRN and thus, they negotiate jointly as per arrangement and uniting all civil servants. Therefore, it was not inappropriate for our union to have teamed up with NAPWU during the press conference,” Hafilwa says.

“Members should not be confused by incidents of 2016, where NAPWU agreed to 5% offered by the GRN while NANTU forced the GRN to give 8%. This single incident led to teachers legally striking while the rest of the public servants relaxed to that effect. This did not take away the joint negotiation arrangement of the two unions.”

Hafilwa further points out that his union’s members are in fear of what they have termed “jackal play” tactics by NAPWU and are worried about the end results as the said union is said to not fight for its members genuinely.

“We don’t agree more to that impression,” Hafilwa says. “Let NAPWU members evaluate their union and express themselves. Our focus is on the legal steps employed by the joint unions’ negotiation teams (NAPWU/NANTU).

“The negative views on NAPWU are outbalanced by what the two unions achieved together so far since signing recognition agreements with the GRN. At points where the two unions would differ on mandates as appeared in 2016, then NANTU is ready not to compromise its members’ mandates while balancing matters of legality as far as the negotiation processes are concerned.

“It is true indeed, that the negotiations between NANTU and the government on the state of salary increment have taken frustratingly too long to complete. It is conceivably the reasons why some members anticipated to hear the good news from the press conference. Some members expected to receive an order to (down tools) go on a strike.”

According to Hafilwa the negotiation process on salary increment is not yet exhausted.

“The two unions are going to resume the negotiation with government on the 29th of November 2021 as reported. We are calling upon all our members in this great region to continue being tolerant and wait for the outcomes from the next legal and procedural deliberations. Both government and unions are subjected to compliance with the recognition agreements which they have signed.”

In the photo: The Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU).