WINDHOEK – The secretary-general of the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (TUCNA), Mahongora Kavihuha, has warned the leadership of FNB Namibia to behave, as they allegedly try to derail negotiations with the union. The Namibia Bank Workers Union (NBWU), an affiliate of TUCNA, is accusing the bank of trying to deny employees their annual increase. They allege that the bank wants to attach the employees’ annual increase to their performance appraisals.
Kavihuha informed FNB employees last week during a briefing session that they submitted the annual increase proposal last year December and only got a response from the bank in May 2018. At this stage the two parties have reached a deadlock and have submitted a case with the Labour Commission for intervention, which should be resolved within 30 days.
The union is fighting for the employees’ increment which has to deal with the cost of living and not their performance at work, which they state are different from each other.
FNB Group Communications Manager, Elzita Beukes, responded that they have always negotiated for performance-based increases and this is the policy of the bank, which can be confirmed by signed agreements by both parties. She further stated it is common knowledge in the bank that all salary increases are performance-based.
‘’The bank presented alternative proposals to enable the parties to start negotiating while waiting for the arbitrator’s ruling but the union rejected the proposals. FNB Namibia is mindful of the impact of the delayed salary negotiations process on our employees and will therefore continue to do everything possible to ensure timeous resolution of the dispute,” she said.
Kavihuha informed the employees that the other bone of contention between the parties is that the bank does not want to negotiate with the union but only the employees of FNB.
Beukes pointed out to this reporter that the reason for the deadlock is that the union negotiating team was not constituted in terms of the recognition agreement, which provides that the negotiating team can only be constituted by the Namibia Bank Workers Union officials and/or workplace union representatives and not by individuals or entities that are not party to the agreement.
The unionist also told the workers that not a lot of employees were rated high on their performance appraisal as the bulk recorded minimum scores, meaning that their increase would be significantly less. ‘’If you are not careful and strategic about this, you will continue suffering. There is no excuse for FNB, they are the leading company in the country and should be exemplary,” he said.
“The reason why you belong to a union is because unity is strength and employees in attendance should not be bullied. The only person who can change FNB is yourself, but if you remain to be a tool to be used then remain a tool for them,” he advised.
FNB employees last received an increase on August 1, 2017 at a minimum of 7.2 percent and a maximum of 9.25 percent based on individual performance.