NHE inks deal with union to end strike

The manegement of the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) has reached an agreement with the Public Service Union of Namibia (PSUN) after a prolonged strike during which NHE employees demanded better working conditions.

The dispute was concluded and announced in a joint media statement yesterday.

According to the statement, the two parties will end the industrial action and return to work on 11 April.

The document entailed that the no-work, no-pay principle will be implemented, and deductions proportioned over a period of eight months, with the first deductions to be affected with March’s payroll.

“The agreed N$5 000 once-off payment to the employees is payable within two days of signing the settlement agreement,” the statement adds.

The parties agreed to commit themselves to the deliverables of the NHE and to achieve those deliverables. It is further stated that the status of a performance assessment on the deliverables will be shared with the union.

“The parties agreed to have the outstanding recognition and procedural agreement signed off on or before 30 April, which will regulate the collective bargaining process between the parties on matters of mutual interest.

The management shall work together with the shop steward on the modalities for a smooth reintegration of the employees into the operations,” the document states.

The joint agreement entailed that there shall be no retaliation, discrimination, or disciplinary action by the employer against any employee who participated in the industrial action.

The parties acknowledged that upon their return to work, the employees are expected to continue with all their work irrespective of when the work came about, including that which was not done pending the outcome of the negotiations of the strike.

“Similarly, the parties take cognisance of the fact that a heavy workload arose as a result of the strike.

“To diminish this workload, the backlog work needs to be attended to, which may necessitate overtime. Such overtime, to be agreed between the parties, should be treated in pursuance of this agreement to eradicate the workload.”

The NHE agreed to waive the requirements relating to the payment of advances of 13th cheques and allow employees to apply and access bonus advances in special circumstances in accordance with qualifying criteria.

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