NIP employees demand increases

16 August 2019 | Local News

Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) employees staged a peaceful demonstration during their lunch break on Wednesday and handed over a petition to the health ministry listing a myriad of labour grievances and demands.

The petition made several allegations of mismanagement by the NIP board.

It claimed that NIP treats its employees unfairly and subjects them to tough working conditions.

Further, the petition claims that the NIP “is under-resourced to the point of lacking basic critical necessities, which puts its core laboratory services at risk of poor delivery or non-delivery altogether.”

It further states that a 2017 collective agreement signed between NIP and employees represented by the Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU) has not been adhered to.

According to the protesters, that agreement provided for a 10% salary increase in April this year, plus a bump in transport allowances and a 35% housing allowance increase.

The petition alleges that on 12 July employees were informed by the board that there would be no salary adjustments for the 2019/20 financial year, “which totally denies the signed agreement”.

“This is sheer arrogance and a total disregard for the signature of the agreement as shown by the board and acting management,” the petition argues. The petition further claims employees are afraid of expressing their grievances because that might lead to “unfair disciplinary procedures and being victimised”.

The petition states that the NIP faces a number of challenges including the non-payment of third parties such as the finance ministry, medical aid funds and suppliers. Moreover, the petition claims that money is wasted on lawyers called on to handle disciplinary hearings as well as acting allowances. The protestors' petition included a demand that the health ministry pay NIP “what it owes” in order to manage and sustain the laboratory services.

Moreover, the employees demand that their right to join a labour union be respected, that NIP “stop creating unnecessary managerial positions” and that the board of directors “stop the mentality of divide and rule over the workers”.

A similar protest by NIP employees was slated to take place yesterday in order to deliver the same petition to the public enterprises ministry.



JANA-MARI SMITH