Kayec staff strike over salary discrepancies

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Windhoek

More than 100 employees, mainly instructors, trainers and cleaners employed by Katutura Youth Enterprise Centre (Kayec) last week downed tools over alleged salary discrepancies and lack of teaching materials at the institution.

Speaking on behalf of the aggrieved workers, Donald Kuhanga accused Kayec top management of paying themselves exorbitant salaries, while their subordinates who apparently are carrying out the core functions of Kayec Trust, such as vocational training, are condemned to earning peanuts.

Yesterday, Basilius Haingura the secretary general of the union representing the affected workers, the Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU), issued a statement saying the threat of industrial action was withdrawn.

“Employees should return to work without further delay,” Haingura said in a statement. “We sincerely regret the inconvenience to our trainees. We will invite them back to our training centres as soon as our instructors return to work to continue their courses where they left off. We understand the impact that these [interruptions in their] studies have on their lives,” he added.

Earlier this year New Era reported that a Kayec director earns N$72 139 a month. His deputy director nets N$34 859 per month and the human resources manager gets N$33 699 a month, while a monitoring and evaluation officer grosses N$22 632 a month.

A communication officer earns N$21 674 per month. The instructors and trainers are aggrieved and feel they do so much work and take home only N$6 322, little more the cleaners who earn N$5 528 per month.

Kuhanga further accused the Kayec director, deputy director and human resource manager of enriching themselves at taxpayers’ expense. “Taxpayers’ money is being used to build empires for the three management members,” said Kuhanga, adding that the workers are reliably informed that two of the people in management previously worked for the same employer before joining Kayec Trust.

He further accused the trio of allegedly recruiting employees without following proper channels. “Kayec is fully funded by government, so just like any other government institution proper channels should be followed,” said Kuhanga. He added that recently an electrical instructor was employed, although the position was never advertised.

Kuhanga called on the Kayec Board of Trustees to immediately suspend the trio and launch an investigation into allegations of maladministration. “As we are talking, we do not have teaching material for the learners,” he added. Kuhanga is further requesting the Board to make public the qualifications of the highly paid trio.

Additionally, the workers demanded a 12 percent increment across the board, a transport allowance and housing allowance to be introduced, as well as the medical aid provision to be improved.

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