Napwu Rejects Plans to Outsource Cleaning Services

THE Namibian Public Workers Union has gly opposed plans by the ministry of health to outsource cleaning services at hospitals in the country.

Minister of health Bernard Haufiku told staff in the ministry on Wednesday that cleaning services will be outsourced and cleaners will be absorbed by companies that will get tenders to clean the hospitals.

Napwu general secretary Peter Nevonga said the concept of outsourcing government cleaning services can only be thought of by a short-sighted person who does not have the interests of the workers at heart.

“There is no mandate from the Namibian people to outsource the functions of government. There is no reason to outsource. The minister is bound by procedure and he cannot just stand up and make an announcement like that,” Nevonga told The Namibian yesterday.

Nevonga said prior to the minister making the announcement, Napwu under whose bargain unit the cleaners fall, was not consulted on the matter. He said if the ministry wants to ensure clean hospitals it must first deal with those entrusted to supervise and ensure that cleaners do their work.

“This commercialisation of cleaning services is not in the interests of the workers, of the government or the people of Namibia and it must be rejected with the contempt it deserves” he said.

The Napwu leader claimed that outsourcing is just another way of contributing to the high rate of unemployment, adding that outsourcing will further worsen the plight of vulnerable Namibians.

“I want to urge all workers who are members of Napwu to be united and calm. All workers should be alert irrespective of job categories because an injury to one is an injury to all. Today it is the cleaners, tomorrow it will be another job category,” he said.

Cleaners spoken to at Okahandja hospital gly opposed the outsourcing of the cleaning services and that the move will create conflict.

“If hospitals are dirty it is because of poor management and not because of cleaners. Where have you heard of a patient who died because cleaners have not done their work,” some cleaners said.

“We will tear up the form if it comes to us” said one cleaner at Okahandja.

Source : The Namibian