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Namibia: Union and government sign teacher appointment and pay agreement

EI affiliate the Namibia National Teachers Union (NANTU) has signed an historic agreement with the government on appropriate appointment requirements and remuneration packages for teachers.

According to the agreement, professionally unqualified and under qualified teachers' appointment requirements will basically remain unchanged and such teachers will enjoy fewer benefits, whereas qualified teachers will be remunerated according to adjusted scales. "A three and four-year recognised tertiary teaching qualification will get a two-notch salary increment to be phased in over two years until an increased salary scale of N$120 000 per year is reached in the next 10 years. These appointment requirements will allow a teacher to progress within a specific grade with certainty for almost 10 years. This brings and builds self-confidence in teachers to continue teaching for some time" claims the agreement. NANTU and the ministry have been at loggerheads over salary adjustments for teachers since last year when the teachers' union displayed its displeasure about the situation during a countrywide peaceful protest march. "The signing of this agreement is a great, but long overdue moment. We are confident that the months of frustration among teachers will come to an end as from today" said the Secretary General of NANTU, Miriam Hamutenya, after the signing ceremony between her union and government representatives at the Labour Commissioner's office in Khomasdal. The new appointment requirements and remuneration packages for certain categories are to be implemented from April 1 over the next two years. "The negotiations between NANTU and the government have been an extended exercise for both parties, but was held in a transparent and understanding environment of mutual respect" said Labour Commissioner Bro Matthew Shinguadja, under whose auspices the agreement between the two parties was signed. The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Vitalis Ankama conceded that the government would spend N$96 million over the next two years to improve the appointment requirements of teachers. "Naturally the ministry of Education's budget will be increased to accommodate the salary adjustments of teachers, together with N$100 million that the government will contribute towards the implementation of the ETSIP programme without delay to the benefit of all the 18 000 teachers in the country" Ankama said.