Civil servants bemoan pay stagnation

Matty Kaminzi (The Namibian)

2 Feb 2021

THE Public Service Union of Namibia (PSUN) president, Titus Sitentu, has said civil servants have not received salary and benefits adjustments for the last six years.

Sitentu blames this on the government and majority unions, who he says have failed workers.

“Thanks to the complicity between the government and the so-called majority unions who have consistently failed the workers,” Sitentu said.

He said this on Monday at the appointment of the union's new secretary general, Mathew Haakuria, who replaces Victor Kazonyati.

Sitentu said it would be a disservice on the government's part if this year ends with no adjustments to the salaries of civil servants.

“The current leadership of the PSUN commits itself to serve workers with the uncompromised interests of the workers as the primary driving force,” Sitentu added.

GIPF STRUCTURE

Sitentu also highlighted aspects he says were omitted in the GIPF story, which he said are the structure of its board of directors and the First Capital Treasury Solution.

He said, “The manner in which the board of directors is constituted and appointed is illegitimate, as it does not follow the legally prescribed processes.

“Second, First Capital operates in a manner that does not promote the purpose for which it was established, as it operates in competition with local banks. It is equally exploitative of the members as all ordinary banks would and this trend must be completely reformed,” he added.

COVID-19 VACCINE AND WORKING CONDITIONS

He criticised the government over how it is handling the securing of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“There are countries that secure over 400 million doses of vaccines for their citizens. Can we say our country, with all the resources that we waste on the likes of Fishrot, cannot secure doses for 2 million people?”

Sitentu further said the conditions under which frontline healthcare workers are operating should be looked into, as they are forced to attend to Covid-19 patients with no protective equipment.

“They are forced to attend to Covid-19 patients without any personal protective equipment and when they ask for this, they are told that they like to complain too much. This is uncalled for!” Sitentu said.

He added that last year PSUN suggested that the Ministry of Finance sets aside an additional portion of the budget for the 2020/2021 financial year to be allocated as an incentive for healthcare workers. However, minister of finance Ipumbu Shiimi directed them to submit such to him through the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, which they did, but they never heard anything from the two ministers to date.

“It is disturbing to notice that these healthcare workers have lost four of their colleagues in the recent past but the Ministry of Health and Social Services shows no signs to improve the situation,” Sitentu said.