Peace returns at FNB
FNB Namibia has averted a crippling nation-wide strike after reaching a settlement agreement with the Namibia Bank Workers Union on Wednesday ending months of tension.
In a joint statement, the two parties said they had agreed on a salary increase of about 8% at a conciliation meeting at the Labour Commissioner’s office after the first attempt at conciliation had yielded no positive results.
Before the agreement, the union had been reportedly demanding an above-inflation salary increment, N$750 in renting allowances for employees who do not qualify for the housing allowance, N$500 transport allowance, 100% medical aid coverage and the provision of low-cost housing.
On the other hand, the bank was offering employees without medical aid a 7% salary increase, while employees with medical aid were being offered a 6% salary increment. Before the settlement, the bank was arguing that the total cost of the union’s demand translates to a 23% annual increase, “which is clearly unreasonable given the local and global business environment.”
As part of the agreement, FNB will increase its medical aid contribution for workers to 65% in the current financial year and 70% in the next financial year. The 30/70 ratio will be mantained once reached.
The bank will also pay this ratio for all qualifying dependents of employees who are principal members, irrespective of when they joined or join in future.
“While salary increments are guided by inflation, FNB’s performance and the market, the average increase offered is close to 8% on the negotiated portion and 12% if the group’s discretionary payments are included,” the bank said.