Albertina Nakale Windhoek-Employees at the University of Namibia (Unam) are extremely unhappy with the institution for paying their monthly salaries very late. Staff who refused to be identified for fear of possible reprisals said Unam has been paying their dues very late since last year November, and even a week ago on Monday many of them had not received their salaries, which are supposed to be paid on the 15th of every month. They feel the situation negatively affects them financially as they have to endure high bank penalties for dishonoured deductions. According to the aggrieved employees, this delay in payment of their salaries puts them in bad light when it comes to bank fees since their stop orders for home mortgages and car loans are supposed to be deducted on the 15th of every month – but the banks are finding nothing in their accounts due to insufficient funds. One of the affected staff said his bank last week froze his account because Unam had failed to pay his mortgage since late year, adding that his arrears and penalties have escalated over the housing loan. Staff further allege these bank penalties run into thousands of dollars that they – and not Unam – have to personally fork out while it’s not their fault. They are also furious that the Unam finance department has since refused to reimburse them for bank penalties. They demanded that Unam should take full responsibility to compensate them for the bank charges incurred, saying they should not be held liable if the institution has cash flow problems. In an interview with Unam spokesperson, Simon Namesho, he admitted that the institution has been paying employees’ salaries late since last year. However, he attributed the delayed payment to “a new system” which was installed in October at the human resources and payroll offices. He also confirmed that late salary payments were experienced last Monday. “In the process of installing this new system, there are always hiccups due to synchronization,” he said. However, he said Unam is inviting all staff workers who are negatively affected by these late payments to engage the finance department. “It’s receiving the attention of the bursar. Anyone experiencing bank charges due to the late payments should come forth to the salary department. If you were charged a certain fee at the bank then you must contact the salary department to reimburse you,” he said. Further, he noted, Unam has also been circulating emails to staff members inviting anyone affected by the salary delays to approach the finance department. Asked when Unam would rectify the problem, Namesho maintained that by the fourth or fifth month they would have ironed out everything and the system would be back on track.
2018-01-22 08:54:32 7 months ago