Standard Bank signs wage agreement with BAWON

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Staff Reporter

Windhoek-Standard Bank officially signed a new salaries and benefits agreement with the Bank Workers Union of Namibia (BAWON) on Wednesday, March 8. The bank’s employees will receive a 7.10 percent average increase for the financial year March 2017 to February 2018.

The bank and the union agreed on salaries and wages after just two days of amicable discussions. Chief executive of Standard Bank Junius Mungunda said salary increases are subject to the “pay for performance” principle.

“It is commendable to note that during the past four years the parties have successfully negotiated a mutually beneficial agreement in an amicable and cordial manner.

“This is a clear demonstration of a trust relationship between the Bank, our staff members and BAWON as representatives of the employees. In order to solidify this partnership, we will continue with our culture of openly engaging with BAWON on matters of mutual interest for the benefit of our employees and the bank,” he said.

Mungunda said: “The Namibian economy is currently faced with serious headwinds characterised by a slowdown in the mining, agriculture and construction industries, compounded by the regional drought and government consolidation efforts constraining the performance of the domestic economic activities. It is also pleasing to note the parties recognised these economic realities as foundation and point of departure for the negotiations.”

Standard Bank employs over 1,700 employees, making it one of the larger employers in the economy. Other benefits granted during the year include subsidised loan facilities for housing and vehicle loans to staff members, as well the newly reviewed medical aid arrangements in response to requests by BAWON and employees.

“As we continue to improve the salary and benefit structures of our employees I want to call on our employees to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset founded on accountability and an ownership culture. With the above, the payback or return on investment to the company, employee and community is inevitable as performance and productivity increase,” Mungunda remarked.

On his part, Secretary General of BAWON Thomas Muchima briefly stated that the negotiations went well, with both parties agreeing on a win-win situation.

Standard Bank’s latest salary increment is announced despite the increasingly challenging climate faced by banks to maintain business growth and sustainability where all parties considered the welfare of the employees, taking into account issues such as the rising cost of living and inflation.

This was the third wage and benefits agreement witnessed by Mungunda and overall the sixth consecutive year that Standard Bank and BAWON successfully negotiated a salary and benefits agreement without resorting to any dispute resolution process.

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