About 100 employees of the Namibian Institute of Pathology held a demonstration on Monday (23 April 2018) at the institute’s head office to demand the implementation of a 10% salary increment.
In a petition handed to NIP management, the striking employees demanded the implementation of the salary increase across the board.
The 10% salary increase was among a range of demands agreed to between the NIP management and staff in a collective agreement for 2018/19, signed in November last year. The collective agreement also includes a N$200 increase on transport allowances per month, and a housing allowance increase of three percentage points on the current allowance of 30%.
These demands were to be implemented this month. According to the demonstrators, the company informed them recently that the 10% salary increase would not be implemented, but did not explain why.
“We demand that the company implements the signed collective agreement in full, and stop treating us like we don’t have rights. Should you fail to adhere to our demands, we will be left with no option but to refer the matter to the labour commissioner for arbitration,” the workers charged. NIP chief executive officer Augustinus Katiti yesterday said the 10% salary increment was not implemented because of cost-cutting directives that were issued by the Office of the Prime Minister to state-owned enterprises.
“We are basically following Cabinet directives that salary increases should not be above the inflation rate. We have engaged the Ministry of Public Enterprises to see if they can give us an extension for a higher percentage above the inflation rate,” he added.
Katiti said other demands, such as transport and housing allowances, were already implemented, and that the union and workers have been informed of delays in the implementation of their salary demands.
The NIP boss also denied claims that the institute has created “unnecessary” managerial positions, saying that all positions are procedurally filled.