SWAKOPMUND - A skewed and inequitable salary structure and the unwillingness of the Swakopmund municipality and council to address the matter has resulted in a peaceful protest during lunch time yesterday in Swakopmund.
About 400 municipal employees including municipal traffic officers and fire brigade members handed over a petition in which they accused management of failing to address the skewed salary structure as well as their annual increase that reached a deadlock.
The inequitable salary structure according to workers is the main bone of contention as employees at the lower and middle structure are going home with merge salaries despite the fact that the municipality ranked on the same level as the Walvis Bay Municipality.
Speaking on behalf of the employees, Uanjenguaije Tjiuvutue, the chairperson of the workers representative committee said that top management earn about 0.5 percent less than their counter parts at the Walvis Bay Municipality and managerial employees earning 20 percent less than their Walvis Bay counterparts.
According to Tjiuvutue, council is well aware of this skewed salary issue as they were also affected in terms of their sitting allowances which they increase from N$100 to N$800 to be on par with the part 1 municipalities. ( municipalities that don’t receive funding from government)
“We have been trying to convince councillors and management about the need for a salary adjustment because of inequity in the salary structure since 2015. They have been unwilling or dismissive to put it correctly. Our concerns are legitimate and justifiable,” he explained. He added it is important to point out that the deadlock over negotiations also further erodes the already-low staff morale, which resulted from the proposal of last year which was aborted in order to accommodate the position of the municipality. They gave council and management seven days to comply, indicating that they would take further steps if their demands are not met.
Chairperson of the management committee, Errkie Shitana who received the petition on behalf of council told the employees that they would look into the issue and revert back to them in due course.