About 700 civil servants from the four northern regions organised what was dubbed as an illegal demonstration yesterday, demanding full implementation of the government job evaluation and regrading exercise, with effect from April 2013.
The group protested in front of the GIPF building here to bring attention to their demands. The protesting workers included mainly clerks, handymen and labourers from Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana and Oshikoto regions.
The protesters also demanded that government consider a 12 percent increment, as opposed to the 6 percent which was announced recently. The group is further demanding that bush allowances be paid as agreed in November 2012. “We want an increment on housing and transport allowance and it must be paid from April not September,” the workers said.
The strikers, who were engaged in emotional confrontations with the police, threatened not to return to their work stations until their demands are met. “How on earth do you increase someone’s salary with 6% if you are fighting poverty? How much is 6% on a cleaner’s salary? Do the people that signed the agreement even think of people on lower salaries,” they asked.
They said labourers, cleaners, as well as handymen are the most neglected workers in government. The group explained that they are protesting because they are unhappy that government does not recognise their efforts in the workplace. “There are people in some categories, who got their regrading backpay in April /May this year and it was backdated from April 2013,” they shouted.
The illegal strike has left the laundry at Oshakati Intermediate hospital closed and forced Onandjokwe kitchen to close. As has become customary, the group also threatened to terminate their membership of the Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU), because they feel betrayed by the union in negotiating their wage increases.
“We sent them to negotiate for 12 percent and not six percent,” charged the angry protestors. New Era Reporter
2015-10-15 09:15:36 | 4 years ago