By Staff Reporter
The Namibia National Teachers Union (Nantu) and the Namibian Public Workers Union (Napwu) University of Namibia branches have expressed outrage at the suspected unauthorised increases in the salaries of the management cadre of the university.
New Era has reliably learnt that Unam’s management cadre received increments in April 2008 contrary to the University Council’s decision that only the staff receive increases.
The alleged increase, which has reportedly been reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), comes a week after some irregularities about the university were reported to the Office of the Ombudsman.
The unions also expressed their distress at the apparent lack of knowledge by the University Council of the increase, or its approval, pointing out in a joint statement that they reached a deal with Unam last year that it would pay a seven percent increase to its staff members with effect from 1 January 2007.
However, the Ministry of Education indicated that it could not increase Unam’s subvention for 2008 for an increase to be sustained in the 2007 financial year. Thus the two parties returned to the negotiation table.
They eventually hammered out a trade-off that members of the Bargaining Unit would receive a one-off cash bonus for 2007, a six percent increase for 2008 and an increase in the transport allowance of N$250 for 2008 “provided that Unam did not award management anything”.
The payment was meant for all staff members within the Bargaining Unit, payable in full to Unam staff members employed before 1 January 2007. The payment was meant to be made on 15 April 2008 to all staff members still in the employment of the university.
New Era is aware of the approval by Unam Acting Vice Chancellor on 9 April 2008 of an increase to all staff outside the Bargaining Unit. This increase is said to have been approved by the Vice Chancellor’s Management Committee and to be implemented on the 1st of April 2008. The affected management cadre is Deans, Directors, Deputy Deans, Deputy Directors and job grades 1-6 who were to receive a six percent salary increase with effect from the 1st of January this year.
Labelling the suspected increase as a betrayal, the unions also questioned the trustworthiness of the Unam management.
New Era reliably learnt this suspected unauthorized expenditure on salary increases for the management cadre was brought to the attention of the AAC. The Director of the ACC, Paulus Noa, could not confirm receipt of the case.
He said he had just returned to office after a two weeks’ visit to the regions.
He said there was a pile of work on his desk and that from what he had gone through, he had not seen the case of Unam.
However, he promised to acknowledge the case and whether it is something credible or just a personal thing.
Unam spokesperson Utaara Hoveka said it is not correct to state that the University Management gave itself a 6% salary increase without Council approval, adding that “the recognised unions at Unam (Nantu/Napwu) and the Unam Management negotiating teams concluded a wage agreement after protracted negotiations on 02 April 2008”.
“The University Management thereafter submitted a report to Council at its meeting of 11 April 2008, on proposed increases for all staff members including management. ?