3% government pay rise a drop in the ocean – opposition

THE People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) says a 3% salary increase for civil servants is “a drop in the ocean”.

The government last week signed an agreement with the National Union of Teachers of Namibia (Nantu) and the Public Workers Union of Namibia (Napwu), for civil servants to get a 3% increase in their basic salary, an increase 11% of their housing allowance for non-executive employees, and a 14% increase in transport allowances.

The agreement averted a strike in which more than 42,000 civil servants planned to take part.

MDP Chairman McHenry Venaani said on Tuesday his party had insisted the government must protect consumers from volatile economic conditions.

Venaani said this is especially true as civil servants last received a pay rise seven years ago.

“While the agreed 3% is certainly lower than officials would have hoped for, the PDM welcomes the increase. However, we are aware that 3% is only a drop in the ocean.

“We take this opportunity to call on the government to consider activating other levers to protect consumers,” he said.

National spokesperson for the Landless Peoples Movement, Eneas Emvula, said this week that the deal was reached without the consent sought from members of the two unions.

He said civil servants had endured seven years without a pay rise.

He said that due to inflation, the purchasing power of the working class is proportionally affected when the prices of goods and services rise.

“Even more so in light of the economy’s endemic corruption by the ruling elite. .

“This jump would be supported by a rise in commodity prices of between 6.6% and 18.6% in transport, food and non-alcoholic beverages, accommodation, restaurants and cafes,” he said. -he declares.

The secretary general of the National Unity Democratic Organization (Nudo), Josef Kauandenge, said they believed the officials had been misled.

“What was discussed behind closed doors was not an agreement for the workers, but an agreement reached with Swapo as the ruling party only.

He said the workers had voted overwhelmingly in favor of the strike and that the unions had signed this agreement without coming back to them to seek a second term.

“In the final analysis, the interest of the Swapo government and its desire to save face has been placed far above the needs and demands of the workers, and that is very sad,” Kauandenge said.

William M. Mayer