Katutura State Hospital in Windhoek is being accused of refusing to acknowledge employees’ actual job roles. Gertrud Modise, who is currently identified as a swing laundry assistant at the hospital, says that she has been working there since 1990 and still has the same position.
“I am only the swing assistant at the laundry department, but I am doing the work that the head is required to do. I have been running this place for years and I feel that it is time that I get recognition for what I do,” the disappointed worker told Informanté during a personal interview.
She says that she has approached management on several occasions asking them to update her position. According to Modise they would request her to write a letter. “I have written many letters, but they never answered me, not once. Writing letters to them is useless. They never reply, not even with a no,” she shouts. “Why should I carry out work tasks that are not in my job description? The success that the department is enjoying is because of me, because of my hard work.”
Her colleague Liza !Gom-Khaises also thinks that the current arrangement is unfair. “She has been running this place like the head of the department for many years now. It is honestly not fair. Why can’t they identify her for the job that she does? When something goes wrong that the head of department is responsible for she can easily turn around and say that she is only the assistant and that she is not responsible for handling such problems. Then what?”
Other employees working at the laundry department claim that their official positions are not accurate reflections of the work they do. !Gom-Khaises says that on her pay-slip her job title indicates that she is a cleaner, but she is working in the laundry department. “In 2006 I was promoted from a cleaner to an equipment worker at the laundry department, but my job position has not been changed yet. I am having problems with filling in application forms at businesses, because my pay-slip does not indicate what I do,” she complains.
She further says that she has been told lies whenever she made enquires, as they would tell her that the change would be made the following week, but nothing would happen. “On 24 August 2010 Modise wrote a letter to the Human Resources department requesting them to change our job positions. It has been two years now, but still nothing. Our requests are falling onto deaf ears. We deserve better,” !Gom-Khaises says.
Hilton Beukes, the chief clerk of domestic services at Katutura State Hospital confirmed that Modise has written several letters, but the letters have apparently gotten lost. “Izaacks who was busy with the transferring process resigned and the letters got lost when Nongava took over,” he claimed. Beukes says that the cleaners currently working at the laundry department positions have not been changed yet, because they will most likely be transferred back to the cleaning department later this year.
The workers are not happy with the arrangement though. “I have given six long years to the laundry department and I don’t want to go back as a cleaner. It is not fair,” one complained.