By Frederick Philander
The 55-strong staff of the Windhoek College of Education in Khomasdal is threatening to down tools as a last resort should their demands for salary increases not be met by the Ministry of Education.
This was said yesterday by the spokesperson of the steering committee of the four education colleges in the country, Liswani Simasiku.
Yesterday the majority of college staff members were picketing with posters in front of the entrance to the Windhoek College of Education, the third time in efforts to prove their seriousness on the issue. It is expected that the staff of the other three colleges will also demonstrate today.
“This is the third time the staff are demonstrating their unhappiness about the delays in having their salaries increased to the same level as other tertiary institutions.
“The aggrieved staff have last week also taken up the issue as a matter of urgency with the National Teachers Union of Namibia (Nantu) with basically no success,” said Simasiku.
According to Simasiku the Government’s ETSIP programme has indicated that college staff salaries would be increased to the same level as other tertiary institutions in 2007.
“Nothing has happened. Hence the fact that we will demonstrate and air our unhappiness and grievances in this manner until such time that the authorities resolve the salary increase issue. In this we are fully supported by our colleagues at the other teacher training colleges. In fact, we will today take a collective decision whether to down tools or not,” he said.
Should the staff down tools the Windhoek College of Education’s graduation ceremony this Friday may be cancelled.
“We have thus far been very patient and behaved professionally and peacefully, but seemingly the only thing the Government understands is industrial action, For too long we have been patient.
“The time is now to find a solution before things turn really ugly. My feeling is that because of the frustrations things can explode to the detriment of all involved,” he said.