7 January 2013

Namibia: Some Education Staff Still Waiting for Back Pay

A number of temporary teachers and secretaries at State-run schools last week complained that they still have to receive their back pay after most Government teachers received their eight percent salary increments towards the end of December last year.

Secretaries at schools in the Erongo Region said it appears that they would have to wait until this month for their increases to kick in, which they said is unfair towards them.

Teachers who are being paid by cheques in the Oshikoto Region and elsewhere said they also still have to receive their back pay.

Yet others complained that 22% tax deductions usually made on their salaries have inexplicably increased to a 32% tax deduction.

When approached for comment, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Ericah Shafudah, on Friday said all payment processes are being done at the respective ministries' level, while the finance ministry compiles the master payroll file for payment.

"If education [ministry] has not processed the salary increases, [finance ministry] will not be able to pick it up," Shafudah said.

Shafudah also promised to look into the increased deductions of tax on salaries once she has returned to her office today. Financial advisor in the Ministry of Education, Elfriede Kahuika, on Friday said all permanent staff at schools have received their salary increases.

She said the eight percent salary adjustment was processed automatically on the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) and teachers were paid either by cheque or via electronic funds transfer on December 17 last year.

Kahuika said temporary teachers employed for one year and more are also catered for on the IFMS and the eight percent salary adjustment was automatically processed on the IFMS. These teachers were also paid on December 17.

She said literacy promoters, temporary and relief teachers are employed for less than a year, and their salaries are thus processed through a manual payment system of the Ministry of Finance. These payments are made by cheque.

All school secretaries, she said, have received their eight percent salary adjustments, except the personal secretaries who are not allocated to a specific salary scale.

The manual payment system applies to all school secretaries, she added.

As for the increased tax deductions, Kahuika said with the salary increases, some tax categories have changed.

This means that no tax is deducted if a person earns less than N$40 000 per year. A 27% tax deduction is implemented on annual salaries of N$40 000 to N$80 000, and 32% is deducted for yearly salaries of between N$80 000 to N$200 000. Those earning between N$200 000 and N$750 000 pay 34% tax on their salaries.

Kahuika said all outstanding payouts of back pay should be finalised once people return to their offices on January 14.

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