Namibia: NBC Staff Set for Salary Hikes

EMPLOYEES at the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) are in for a salary increase, yet the future of 133 contract workers remains uncertain.

Information seen by The Namibian shows that the national broadcaster's management and the Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu) were locked in negotiations from 11 to 17 December last year, which culminated in the NBC heeding to some demands.

Minutes from a meeting show that the broadcaster agreed in principle to increase the salaries of all employees by 5,1% backdated from April 2019.

Workers are, however, not convinced this agreement would hold water.

Napwu is accusing the NBC board of stalling the proposed increases.

"They are talking rubbish. You can even quote me on that. What stupid things are they talking about? Can they just wait for the board to meet next week?" NBC board chairperson Lazarus Jacobs yesterday said.

The company also agreed to increase all permanent employees' rent allowance from N$1 950 to N$2 050, and their transport allowance from N$750 to N$850.

Contract workers are set to receive an increase in their rent allowance, from N$1 000 to N$1 700, and their transport allowance will increase from N$400 to N$850.

Until recently, these employees were subjected to a 30-day contract, which was renewed monthly. They will now be given one-year contracts.

The information shows that Napwu asked the broadcaster to absorb all employees on contract effective from 2021, but the NBC requested to be given five years to implement this process.

"Our contracts were being renewed monthly. It was a difficult situation, which never allowed us to plan our lives accordingly," an NBC employee yesterday said.

"A one-year contract is not the best, but it allows you to plan months ahead at least," the employee said.

Napwu has given the NBC and its board of directors until 20 January to implement the negotiation outcomes or to notify the union if it does not intend to do so.

"We are busy with negotiations and there is nothing else to say," NBC director general Stanley Similo yesterday said.

The union made its position clear to Similo, saying it would support industrial action if the majority of employees chooses to do so.

The minutes of the meeting also show that Napwu promised to scrutinise the issue of performance bonuses paid to the NBC's management.

The Namibian recently reported that the broadcaster's managers are accused of irregularly paying themselves more than N$5,4 million in performance bonuses.

The union said this has led to delays in implementing what is due to workers.

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