12 September 2018 | Sakenuus

Cosy salary increase for RA

Jo-Maré Duddy – One out of every N$10 in the Roads Authority’s budget in 2018/19 will be absorbed by wages.

This is the result of the 6%-increase in wages the Roads Authority has agreed to in its 2018/19 financial year, spanning from 1 March 2018 to 31 March 2019.

Data from the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) show that the average inflation rate for the first four months of the RA’s financial year is just under 4%.

“Over the years, the Roads Authority has managed to increase salaries every financial year, this despite the changing economic landscape. We are indeed very grateful for these increments now more than ever because the overall current economic situation of our country is challenging to say the least,” the chief executive officer of the SOE, Conrad Lutombi, said Monday when he signed the new agreement with the Namibia Public Workers Union (Napwu).

“The negotiating parties are cognisant of the fact that the Roads Authority is a non-profit making organisation hence, its remuneration levels are equated to that,” Lutombi said.

The agreement allows for a 6%-increase in basic salaries, housing allowance and transport allowance. “In addition, the board of directors has also approved a salary increase of 6% on total cost to employer basis for those on management level,” Lutombi said.

The increases will be backdated to the beginning of April and will be paid this month.

Napwu originally wanted increases of 12%.

Lutombi said it was of significant importance that the parties “recognised the need to contain the labour costs in an effort to ensure long-term employment sustainability of the Roads Authority, bearing in mind that our core function is road infrastructure development and maintenance of our road network”. The RA is a “non-profit organisation”, he emphasised.

Annual reports published on the RA’s website show the SOE’s personnel costs increased by nearly 16% on average every year from 2013 to 2017.

According to Nampa, the RA’s total budget for the 2018/19 is N$3.3 billion, of which N$331 million is for personnel expenditure. – Own report and Nampa/Reuters