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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Namibia promises salary rise to appease angry teachers           

WINDHOEK, (Xinhua) -- In a bid to avert an imminent strike by teachers, the government of Namibia has promised a 7-percent salary increase in 2017.

Teachers in Namibia will vote on whether to go on strike on Tuesday after declaring an unresolved dispute in which the unions were demanding an 8-percent salary increase instead of the 5 percent the government has offered.

In a speech delivered on Monday, Education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said the government can only raise teachers’ salaries by 7 percent in 2017.

Hanse-Himarwa said a strike action by teachers at the time of the year would be disastrous for the pupils who are supposed to attend examinations.

“It is exam period now and as such the examination session will be disrupted and our learners will be traumatized psychologically and further endure irreversible disadvantages,” she said.

The government, she said, allocates substantial portion of the national budget to the education sector and that currently there was no money.

According to Hanse-Himarawa, the education ministry was conducting an external review of its entire financial system in order to reprioritize and optimize the available funds.

Prime Minister Saara Kuungogelwa-Amadhila last week said the government does not have money for salary increases apart from the 5 percent awarded across the board.

Kuungogelwa-Amadhila also said if teachers go on strike, the government will apply the “no work, no pay” policy.

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Namibia threatens not to pay striking teachers  

WINDHOEK, (Xinhua) -- The Namibian government said Thursday that all teachers who will join the strike for an 8 percent salary increase will not be paid.

Prime Minister Saara Kuungogelwa-Amadhila said the government will not remunerate or pay teachers who have not rendered any service during strike.

Kuungogelwa-Amadhila said the government is not in the financial position to effect the 8 percent increase, which would cost the government more than 228 million Namibian dollars (about 15.6 million U.S. dollars) this financial year.

“The education sector has always been a top priority of the government as this sector has been receiving the largest allocation from the national budget,” she said, adding that currently the education budget takes up about 21 percent of the total national budget.

Although Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) had accepted initially the 6 percent offered by the government, the Namibia National Teachers Union (Nantu) has refused to accept it.

Nantu secretary general Basilius Haingura said they will vote next Tuesday on whether to go on strike or not. 

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