Civil Servants plan strike, want 50 % pay rise

An all sector crippling national wide strike by civil servants is looming, Nyasa Times has learnt.

Impeccable sources have confided in Nyasa Times that the Malawi Civil Servants Union has now failed to keep the impending strike under wraps.

“It has been an issue that the union representing all the civil servants in the country has failed to suppress. The Chief Secretary in the government Mr. Bright Nsaka is aware, the former Minister of Finance Ken Kandodo is aware, the Secretary to the Treasury Mr Joseph Mwanamvekha is also aware, we want better pay adjusted to meet the cost of living,” said the source close to the planning meeting.

The grievances by the would be strikers are obvious; money. Government only increased the salaries of all civil servants by a meagre 7 percent this financial year while economic shocks have eroded their earnings by over 30 percent.

“ We have seen electricity rising by 20 percent, water by 20 percent, we have several taxes introduced on essential commodities which led to increase in these basic goods, on the other hand our salaries have remained the same, we need action and action we will get,” said another official who declined to be named for fear of reprisals.

In most shops basic commodities like sugar, soap, salt, bread and cooking oil have gone up once the budget was passed by parliament in June.

The after effect of devaluing the Kwacha against the major currencies has also ignited another wave price increases.

The fuel scarcity has seen transport costs skyrocketing and more fears are standing on the way once fuel prices are inevitably increased in the wake of the devaluation of the kwacha.

The master-plan for the strike is to go slow as the month of September starts giving time for the Union to engage government in serious talks then cutting off work completely once an agreement is not reached.

“We want the mid-term budget review to include not less than 50 percent pay rise for all civil servants. This has no substitute,” said another source.

Medical care staff in government hospitals will operate on skeleton staff while, ministries and departments will shutdown completely.

“Our voices will be heard, that I can assure you,” said the source.

Chief Secretary Bright Nsaka was not available to comment on the matter while secretary to the treasury mobile phone went unanswered on several attempts.

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