22 April 2013

Namibia: Regrading Coming in a Few Weeks

THE imminent overhaul of civil service salaries is set to be implemented in a few weeks' time after appeals were scrutinised by a panel which is to report to Cabinet.

The salary changes, contained in a document titled ‘Reward Management', will be known as the Public Service Pay and Grading structure, will affect about two thirds of the 93 000 government employees and will cost nearly N$2 billion to implement this year.

Concerned parties were given until 31 March to appeal to recommendations made in the regrading report. Since then, a committee was set up that consisted of some permanent secretaries, representatives of the recognised trade unions and members of organisations outside the public service.

Nangula Mbako, the permanent secretary in Office of the Prime Minister, on Friday said the appeal process was completed and the result of the job evaluation and grading would be implemented as soon as Prime Minister Hage Geingob and Cabinet Secretary Frans Kapofi were briefed.

The system was supposed to be implemented on 1 April this year.

On the same date, a revision of the benefit structure of the Public Service Employees Medical Aid Scheme was implemented. “Prominent in the revision is the availability of two options, namely a standard and higher option providing more choice to staff members in terms of benefits and affordability,” Mbako said.

She said the current pay policy has also been revised which included the development of salary scales attached to the 15 new job grades.

After negotiations between the government and the recognised trade union in November 2012, an agreement was reached on a number of improvements to salaries and benefits for all staff members in the public service including the police, defence force, correctional services and regional councils, to be implemented at various stages.

Mbako says with effect from 1 April 2012 a general salary adjustment of 8% was implemented. From 1 November 2012 various benefits were implemented - mainly improvements to the home owner's scheme for staff members which included raising the maximum loan amount from N$450 000 to N$720 000, the full participation of each spouse and the improvement of the level of subsidy.

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