Oshikuku Town Council and the Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU) have signed a 3% wage increment agreement.
The wage increment negotiations began early in 2021 where the workers were demanding a 7% increment.
At the beginning of 2022 Council agreed to a 5% increment across the board. However, in compliance with the law Council sought the Minister of Urban and Rural Development’s approval.
Minister only approved a 3% increment backdated to 1st July 2022.
Although Council’s employees initially intended to reject the 3%, after consultation with the union and a careful consideration, they accepted a 3% wage increment.
NAPWU’s Regional Coordinator, Mr Nelson Nghitaunapo co-signed the agreement with the Chairperson of WURCOM, Ms Irona Haileka, on behalf of the union while and Treasurer, Mr Wamena Munepapa of the Workplace Union Representative Committee (WURCOM) witnessed.
“I am grateful that the pro-longed wage negotiation has finally come to an amicable conclusion without resorting to a strike which is constitutionally granted to the workers,” Nghitaunapo said.
“After a careful consideration of the economic situation of Council and the country at large, workers resolved to accept the 3% backdated to July 2022.”
He further stated that negotiations are a give-and-take process provided all parties are sensible and reasonable towards each other.
“Furthermore, in a strike situation there would be no winner as observed elsewhere in the country. In such a situation the most affected stakeholder would have been residents of Oshikuku as services they pay for would have not been provided.
However, this does not mean employees cannot go on a strike if pushed to,” he stated.
Except for transport allowance, the agreed 3% will also have an impact on the housing benefit which is linked to the basic salary.
The CEO of Oshikuku Mr Lucas Amushembe co-signed with the Chairperson of Management Committee, Hon. Williams Sheende on behalf of the employer while Mr Filippus Angula, Manager for Finance, Human Resources and Administration bore witness.
“Let me assure everyone that Council is committed to the well-being of its employees as it believes that a happy employee is a productive employee.
“Therefore, Council will continue to engage and where circumstance allows and economic situation is favourable Council would grant salary increments while being compliant to applicable legislations,” Amushembe said.
He also thanked employees for their understanding and patience in these trying times. He urged them to do their part in delivering the needed services to the society as expected.
In conclusion, the Chairperson of the Management Committee, Hon. Sheende thanked all parties for their understanding and commitment to find an amicable solution during the negotiations.
He urged the parties to embrace each other as partners and now focus on service delivery to the Oshikuku residents and stakeholders.
He emphasized that Council’s revenue are only generated from municipal services paid for by the residents.
“Therefore, we have to ensure that we deliver effective and efficient services to them,” he said.
In the photo: Oshikuku Town Council and its workers representatives signing the wage increase.