WINDHOEK - Cabinet has directed that the Personnel Administration Measures (PAM), for the job category of inspectors of education Grade 5 be amended by abolishing the management cadre housing and transport allowances.
The directive became effective as of August 1.
This means all new incumbents will receive the transport allowance for staff members below the management cadre and make use of any of the housing benefits available to a staff member below the management cadre.
This is contained in a letter addressed to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture Permanent Secretary Sanet Steenkamp by Cabinet deputy permanent secretary Tuyakula Haipinge.
According to the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture portal, an inspector of education (Grade 5)’s salary scale fetch to N$332 856 x P – 397 793; housing benefit is
N$ 63 137 per annum; motor vehicle allowance is inclusive of capital costs of N$71 916 per annum, running costs of N$25 751 per annum and then the total allowance of
N$97 667 per annum.
Haipinge said that transitional measures will apply to a current staff member on the functional level inspector of education Grade 5, who is in receipt of the housing and transport allowances for the management cadre.
She explained it was requested by Namibia National Teachers’ Union (Nantu) that the said allowance be abolished since it represents an unfair labour practice.
“Since agreeing in principle to the withdrawal in a meeting on 11 April 2017, a process of in-depth consultations on all levels, legal scrutiny on the withdrawal methodology and administrative measures to mitigate possible challenges has been followed. The allowances have been granted following a legal process and it must therefore follow a similar process to be withdrawn,” Haipinge noted.
Therefore, she said, the purpose of the letter was to indicate that the matter was initiated by Nantu, which has since been informed about the measures to implement the abolishment of the two allowances which it has agreed to.
Haipinge said if a staff member has bought a property, then he or she should continue repaying that home loan until the instalment is finished or the house is sold.
She said it is therefore proposed that the housing allowance for the management cadre on Grade 4 is contained on a personal to holder basis but the amount of the allowance is not adjusted over time.
“When the amount received catches up with the amount of the subsidy he or she would qualify for under the home owner’s scheme for staff members, the housing allowance for the management cadre shall be withdrawn and a subsidy under the home owner’s scheme for staff members shall be paid. The housing allowance will also cease when the staff member is promoted, transferred to another job category or his or her service is terminated (resignation, retirement or death),” Haipinge explained.
For those who have acquired a vehicle and are repaying a loan, she said such staff members are paid the transport allowance on a personal to holder basis until the existing loan on the car purchased is either settled in full or the vehicle is sold whichever occur first.
In an unprecedented move, the Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN) secretary general Mahongora Kavihuha last year has urged the government to get rid of what he termed “useless positions” such as those of school inspectors and examination officers and redefines the roles and operations of subject advisors.
This, he said, would result in cost cutting.
TUN proposed the revision of the ministerial organogram, especially the one that deals with academic and support services.
Kavihuha says he does not understand how an inspector of education, which is an entry post, can ever supervise a school principal who is already in a promoted position.
PAM under the Office of the Prime Minister, as amended on April 1, 2013, clearly stipulate the job description of an inspector of education. They state that the job category includes personnel involved with the executing of inspections of schools, setting of national school standards and the in-service training of principals, heads of department and