June 30, 2005

Teachers issue ultimatum

The National Teachers' Union has given the government eight weeks to implement an agreement signed 18 months ago or face action. Nantu Secretary General Miriam Hamutenya threatened Government with serious action because calls to place qualified teachers in higher brackets, as agreed 18 months ago, had not been implemented. "We are now fed up and tired to be patient," Hamutenya said when she briefed the media on the implementation of the recommendations of the Wage and Salary Commission. Nantu's rival union, the Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN), has charged for some time now that qualified and experienced teachers were resigning in droves following a Government decision to pay new recruits bigger salaries. It is believed that Government signed the agreement only to realise afterwards that the money was not budgeted to improve the service conditions of the teachers. Government has since pleaded with the bargaining union to be patient but there has been little or no indication when the salary changes will be implemented. Hamutenya said the patience of the Nantu membership had been tested to the limit. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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