ECN coughs up salaries

07 June 2019 | Local News

The Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN) has paid voter education officers' their April and May salaries in the absence of signed employment contracts, following pressure from the Namibia Public Workers' Union (Napwu).

At the end of last month, the voter education officers received their salaries for the two months, but are yet to sign their employment contracts. In March this year 90 voter education officers refused to sign their new employment contracts when their two-year contracts expired. They have refused to continue as temporary workers, saying many of them have been working for more than 10 years and deserve to be permanently employed.

Last month ECN chief electoral officer Theo Mujoro informed Napwu that the electoral body would not pay until they have signed their contracts.

This irked Napwu and its secretary-general Peter Nevonga, who alleged the ECN was using the non-payment of salaries to force the workers to sign temporary contracts, while continuing negotiations with the union.

Nevonga said this was similar to the tactics used by apartheid's South West African Native Labour Association (SWANLA).

A source said that at the end of May they received their outstanding salaries for April and May, but no employment contracts were signed. Nevonga nor Mujoro could not be reached for comment.

Nevonga had earlier said the ECN's behaviour was brutal and contrary to the spirit of employment growth and good labour relations in the country.

Namibian Sun has been informed that since their contracts expired on 31 March, only voter education officers in the //Karas Region and two from Khomas have renewed their contracts. The rest - countrywide - are continuing to work while claiming that the ECN has not communicated what the future holds for them.

ILENI NANDJATO

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