Labour court rules Kayec strike illegal

Windhoek � The Labour Court has ruled that the ongoing strike by 17 Katutura Youth Enterprise Centre (Kayec) instructors that started in the middle of 2016 is illegal and unprotected.

Arbitrator Kyllikki Sihlahla last week ordered that the 17 instructors return to work this week, saying the Namibia National Teachers' Union (NANTU), which is the union representing the striking instructors, failed to follow the lawful procedures before calling the strike.

In light of the events that preceded the current strike, it [is] clear that there is an unfair labour practise on the part of the NANTU, as they are negotiating in bad faith, Sihlahla said in his ruling.

The union filed the first notification of industrial action schedule to commence within 48 hours, contrary to the recognition agreement. Therefore, they formally withdrew the notification after they had already participated in the strike, he said.

Further, he said the union issued a second notification for further industrial action in terms of the collective agreement, but the notification was supposed to be given five days prior to the commencement of industrial action. It was issued only four days before, contrary to the provisions of the recognition agreement.

This, according to him, amounts to the subversion of orderly collective bargaining and amounts to an unfair labour practise.

In conclusion, Sihlahla found NANTU to be in breach of the recognition agreement and the industrial action led by NANTU was consequently illegal.

Instructors at the non-profit organisation that was founded in 1994 took to the streets mid-2016 to demand a 10 percent salary increment across the board, plus improved fringe benefits.

Last year New Era reported that per month a Kayec director earned N$72 139, his deputy director N$34 859 and the human resources manager N$33 699. A monitoring and evaluation officer grossed N$22 632 a month, while a communication officer earns N$21 674.

The instructors and trainers are aggrieved and feel they do their jobs to the best of their ability and more, yet take home only N$6 322, little more than the cleaners, who earn N$5 528 per month.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia