UNAM hikes tuition fees for 2019 ….As management award themselves bonuses

14 December 2018 Author   Eliaser Ndeyanale
The cash strapped University of Namibia has announced a 6 percent increase in tuition fees and a 3 percent salary increase for senior staff.
Registration fees will also go up by 8.4 percent to N$1,557, starting next year.
Namibian and SADC students at the main campus in Windhoek, Neudam, Ogongo and Sam Nujoma campuses will now be required to pay hostel fees of N$12,860 while international students will pay N$21,360.
This year, Namibian and SADC students studying at these campuses paid N$11,630 while non SADC students paid N$15,230.
These fees are payable in full, upfront per semester during registration.
Namibian and SADC students at Hifikepunye Pohamba, Khomasdal, Rundu, Katima Mulilo and Southern campuses will pay N$9,400 for accommodation while non-SADC students will fork out N$14,400.
Namibian and SADC students at Health Science campuses in the North and Windhoek will be required to pay N$9,000 and N$16,010 respectively, while international students will have to part ways with N$18,000.
Spokesperson, Edwin Tjiramba, said the university council has also decided to give a 3 percent salary increase to staff members outside of the bargaining unit.
This decision has, however, been criticized by some UNAM employees who questioned why management was getting an increase when they had said the university cannot afford the 6 percent salary increase demanded by UNAM junior staff.
UNAM lecturer, Ndeshi Namupala, accused university management of hypocrisy for granting themselves a 3 percent increase in basic salary over six months because they (management) had objected to a 6 percent salary increment to junior staff, which led to a two-week strike last month.
“This is negotiating in bad faith. UNAM claims not to have money, yet they are giving themselves a 3 percent increase? It’s unethical and hypocritical.
“Striking employees’ salaries have been deducted based on the principle of ‘no work, no pay’ so that management can grant itself a 3 percent bonus. This is unfair,” a furious Namupala said.
She added that if UNAM does not have money, as it claimed, the least management could have done is forfeit their 2018 increase until next year.
“Right now, what they have done is unethical. Management and non-striking employees have been rewarded and striking employees have been punished.
“This sends a message to workers in this country that employers can do whatever they want and workers can forget about exercising their democratic rights in terms of industrial action,” she said.
UNAM union leaders said in a statement on Thursday that they are disappointed by the decision to give management an increment, adding that it is unethical and disgusting.
They said the increase undermines the principles of good governance and responsible leadership.
“The unions demand that management immediately retract the council decision of no work no pay because the  funds approved by council to cater for management’s once off payment was shamefully deducted from legally striking employees’ salaries,” the statement from the union said.
Tjiramba said a once-off amount equivalent to only 3 percent of basic salary over six months was granted to staff outside the bargaining unit due to the current economic situation.
The university will also implement a once-off payment of 5 percent of basic salary over seven months to staff inside the bargaining unit. This will be implemented as from 15 December 2018.
University Council Chairperson, Sam Shivute, said their decision was based on the prevailing economic condition which is affecting every employee as well as the basic principle of fairness and equity.
“It’s worth emphasizing that management never demanded what council provided,” Shivute said.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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