NBC salary increases not justifiable

The staff’s demands would mean that the broadcaster’s expenses would shoot up by N$20 million per year.

10 February 2021 | Local News

OGONE TLHAGE







WINDHOEK

NBC board chairperson Lazarus Jacobs says a demand by the broadcaster’s employees for a 5.1% increase on their basic salary is unaffordable and will place it at financial risk.

NBC employees had originally demanded a 5.1% pay rise, which was rejected. The striking employees further demanded an 8% increase backdated 24 months after their benefits were unilaterally changed.

In a letter to Namibia Public Workers Union general secretary Petrus Nevonga, Jacobs said the demand would plunge the NBC into financial crisis.

“There is absolutely no way that the board would put the NBC in financial difficulty and by so doing run the risk of the NBC defaulting on its creditors and statutory payments,” said Jacobs.

The original demand would mean that NBC’s expenses would shoot up by N$15 million per year.

The broadcaster opted to offer a one-off payment of between N$10 000 and N$20 000 to its employees in the bargaining unit, Jacobs explained to Nevonga, which would amount to N$7.6 million, subject to funding being secured.

Concern

Jacobs also expressed concern about the new demand by the workers for an 8% pay raise.

“The new demand of 8% plus benefits will further escalate the monetary value of the demand to N$20 million per annum, or N$40 million over a period of 24 months, which will increase the employment cost moving forward,” Jacobs said.

“It is therefore the view of the board that any salary increase at this stage is not viable and sustainable,” he said.

The public broadcaster’s employees had threatened to go on strike if they did not receive two years’ backpay last December.

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