Municipal workers up in arms

Employees have called on the Swakopmund Town Council to begin salary negotiations.

06 November 2019 | Local News

Maxine Bussel; Employee representative; “The workers have patiently waited but we cannot wait any longer.”

Swakopmund • Adolf Kaure

Dissatisfied employees of the Swakopmund municipality held a peaceful demonstration yesterday, demanding that salary negotiations for the 2019/2020 financial year start.

Speaking on behalf of employees, Maxine Bussel said that since March employees have been requesting that council begins salary negotiations, but the employer seems unwilling to do so and is making excuses.

“The workers have patiently waited but we cannot wait any longer. We do not want a repeat of last year when workers only got their backdated salary in January 2019.”

Bussel said employees requested meetings in terms of the recognition agreement to engage in salary negotiations, and accused the employer of not being willing and not respecting the existing recognition agreement.

According to Bussel, what the management of the Swakopmund town council did is in violation of the constitution, the Labour Act, the recognition agreement and council’s own policies.

She added that the employees entered into a substantive agreement to source the services of a service provider to conduct a survey.

“This consultant produced a bogus report dotted with schoolboy mistakes at a cost of over N$345 000. This is wasteful expenditure because the report is not worth the paper it is written on. For example, the report says our A1 Band employees get an annual salary of N$83 000, which is a lie. We know that our colleagues in A1 Band only get an annual salary of N$64 000.”
Bussel said it would be unethical to approve such a report.

“Apparently, our wage bill is 53% of our total income. The same report fails to mention and is conspicuously silent on the fact that the 16 management employees take the lion’s share of the 53%,” she said.

The workers urged town council to commence with salary negotiations within three days from the date of the petition.