New minimum wage for guards

The minimum wage for entry-level and experienced security guards will go up by 25% and 40% respectively next year.

05 December 2016 | Labour

A national festive-season strike by security guards was averted at the eleventh hour last week when unions and security companies reached a minimum wage agreement of a 25% increase for short-term and 40% increase for long-term employees.

Effective 1 January 2017, the minimum wage for security guards across the sector will increase by 25%, from N$7 to N$8.75, marking the first phase of the agreement.

The second phase of the agreement is applicable only to security guards who have been employed for a year or more on 1 July 2017.

On that date, the minimum wage for employees who have been employed for more than a year will increase by roughly 15%, from N$8.75 to N$10 per hour.

The finalised agreement was announced on Friday, at the offices of the labour commissioner, after the relevant parties, including the Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (Natau), Namibia Security Guards and Watchman Union (NASGWU), Namibia Independent Security Union (Nisu), announced that consensus had been reached late last week with members of the Security Association of Namibia (SAN).





John Kwedhi, Natau general secretary, explained that the higher minimum wage rate for security guards was agreed on in order to take account of the experience and loyalty of long-term employees.

“If you compare the person who has experience and they are put in the same basket as the more non-skilled, you could create an uncomfortable situation,” he explained.

In regard to the issue of a transport, housing and danger allowance, in addition to pension, Kwedhi explained these issues were deferred to March next year in order to provide time to conduct research on the options available and to assess affordability. Negotiations addressing these demands will take place once an overview has been conducted, he said.

The newly amended minimum wage will remain applicable until the next round of wage negotiations starts in July 2018, when the wages and other relevant issues will be renegotiated.

He cautioned employees in the sector that this does not mean a new rate will kick in as from August that year, but will only be implemented once the parties have reached agreement.

Kwedhi added that according to the terms of the agreement, no back-pay will be applicable next year, as the agreement stipulated the increases will only apply as from January 2017.

He warned employers in the industry to adhere to the minimum wage increases, adding that the unions and SAN would not tolerate non-compliance.

Although the process of gazetting the new minimum wages will be started next week, he said that there have been previous cases where employers argued they would only implement the new wages once they are gazetted.

“It is a national minimum wage that is applicable to the entire sector. We will not hesitate to take any action if we find anyone not wanting to implement this agreement.”

He also urged labour inspectors to be vigilant and to ensure that the conditions and terms of the agreement will be enforced.

SAN president Dries Kannemyer, speaking on behalf of the sector''s employers, said the association was pleased an agreement could be reached and that industrial action over the festive season was stopped in its tracks.

Nevertheless, he said the financial impact of the increases will be “quite harsh for us.” He said that the business owners have to take a lot of aspects into account, including their employees, the viability of operating a business, their clients as well as the current economic situation.

He urged clients across the country to take note of the increases, as they will partly absorb the cost of pay rises.

He asked that the unions should ensure that security guards must take note of the steep minimum wage increases and that they security guards in return are expected to perform better in their jobs.

“So the knife cuts both ways, from our side and from their side, we have to work together to make sure the security industry becomes better than it is now.”

An issue that both the unions and the employers feel strongly about is the lack of regulations in the security industry, which they say is marred by fly-by-night operators who do not comply with the minimum wages or standards the industry is trying to set.

Both parties agreed during talks over the past few weeks to strengthen the security labour forum, through which they hope to improve oversight of the industry as a whole, to ensure that companies comply with the rules and regulations and to prevent scrupulous operators from gaining a foothold in the sector.



The parties on Friday emphasised the need of finalising regulations for the existing Security Act, which would boost the sector''s ability to address issues that plague the industry as well as streamline the industry.



SAN chairperson Levi Shigwedha added that customers are also responsible for enabling ruthless companies that operate outside of the scope of the industry.



He cautioned that by accepting very low rates from security companies, which make it clear that a minimum wage cannot be paid, is irresponsible and is “killing the industry.” He said the customers carry a responsibility to ensure the industry, including the security guards, are not “sabotaged” by non-compliant operators.



“The companies who do not comply, they compete with the compliant companies.”



JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

Charge SME Bank directors - Nafinu

1 week ago - 12 July 2017 | Labour

The Namibia Financial Institutions Union (Nafinu) has demanded that the chairman of the SME Bank board, and members of the executive committee who were responsible...

Job seekers demonstrate, demand removal of governor

2 weeks ago - 07 July 2017 | Labour

Nearly 100 job seekers staged a peaceful demonstration in Otjiwarongo on Wednesday, demanding the removal of Otjozondjupa governor, Otto Ipinge, from his position.The group accused...

Unam staff want their 7%

2 weeks ago - 04 July 2017 | Labour

Disgruntled University of Namibia employees, who were represented by the Namibia National Teachers Union and the Namibia Public Workers Union, held a peaceful demonstration on...

Shoprite must drop charges

3 weeks ago - 03 July 2017 | Labour

The Economic and Social Justice Trust (ESJT) has called on retail giant Shoprite to drop disciplinary charges against its workers for a 2015 strike they...

Demo in solidarity with Shoprite workers

3 weeks ago - 30 June 2017 | Labour

A planned demonstration by various stakeholders is expected to take place this afternoon in front of the Shoprite Katutura outlet in Windhoek.This is according to...

Domestic workers and employers should work together

3 weeks ago - 28 June 2017 | Labour

The Namibia Domestic and Allied Workers’ Union (Ndawu) has urged domestic workers and their employers to work together for a conducive work environment, where the...

Fishermen lodge complaint with ILO

1 month - 06 June 2017 | Labour

Striking fishermen have lodged a complaint with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) accusing the Namibian government and fishing companies of forced labour and other human...

NUNW warns against state capture

1 month - 05 June 2017 | Labour

The National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) said it will reject any attempt to privatise TransNamib, which is a state-owned enterprise. It also threatened with...

Nafau wants Shoprite workers

1 month - 05 June 2017 | Labour

The struggle to represent Shoprite workers continues as the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau) yet again this month called on the workers to...

Disabled training dismal

1 month - 31 May 2017 | Labour

Fewer than 1% of people living with disabilities out of a total of 72 865 employees were trained across all industrial sectors, an annual report...

Latest News

Chinese firms stop work amid...

11 hours ago | Infrastructure

Two Chinese companies responsible for the bulk earthworks for the construction of the railway line between Ondangwa and Oshakati have reportedly stopped work due to...

Farmers demand Meatco board quit

11 hours ago | Agriculture

The contested Meatco board called a last-minute halt to a Friday meeting, stating that a number proposed resolutions drafted by Meatco members were illegal and...

Region grapples with violence

11 hours ago | Crime

According to Kavango West Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Mbumba gender-based violence (GBV) is the most common crime committed in the region, where about three to four...

Struggle kids snatch fire truck

11 hours ago | Crime

A fire truck was briefly hijacked near Brakwater on Friday by a group of incensed 'struggle kids' who also set a broken-down minibus on fire...

No decision on RCC yet

11 hours ago | Government

The minister of public enterprises, Leon Jooste, on Friday said no decision on the future of the beleaguered Roads Construction Company (RCC) had been made....

Pretorius laid to rest

11 hours ago | People

Family members and people from all corners of Namibia paid their last respects to Willem Francois Pretorius, better known as Kosie Pretorius, during a service...

Northern fuel shortage addressed

11 hours ago | Energy

The mines and energy minister, Obeth Kandjoze, has commended Engen for the N$62 million fuel depot it has established at Ondangwa, which is expected to...

Queen praises Dr Ndume

11 hours ago | Health

The Oukwanyama Traditional Authority has presented an “award of commendation” to eye specialist Dr Helena Ndume in recognition of her dedication and commitment to the...

Hope whispers

11 hours ago | Opinion

We are a nation existing in trying times. There is no doubt that most Namibians, rich, poor, black and white are feeling the pinch of...

Load More