Malawi civil servants call off strike, resume their normal duties

Malawi’s Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) attempted two-day strike appeared to have failed on Monday, with most workers reporting for duty.  However, union leaders are still pressing their demand for increased wages.

Nyasa Times correspondents in Lilongwe at Capital Hill, the seat of government, say most government departments were functioning normally and that nurses were doing their normal duties.

Teachers were also in classes at government schools.

Elia Kamphinda-Banda, president of the 120,000 strong Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU), told Nyasa Times that the civil servants would continue to press their demands when negotiations resume soon.

Kamphinda: Called off a strike action
Kamphinda: Called off a strike action

A media statement signed by Dr. McPhail Magwira, Chairman of Government Negotiating Team and Kamphinda Banda was released on Monday to officially announced the cancellation of the strike.

”The Government of the Republic of Malawi is pleased to announce that during their meeting on Monday 11th February, 2013, the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) and the Civil Service Trade Union (CSTU), resolved to continue the dialogue on the demands presented by civil servants pertaining to their conditions of service and salary levels,” the news statement said.

“The negotiations will be conducted through the Joint Task Force, comprising membership from Government and CSTU, which was set up on 6th February, 2013 to quantify the CSTU demands and advise Government on the best way to addressing them.”

It further explains that, ”the GNT and the CSTU remain fully committed to reaching a mutually satisfactory resolution on the demands by civil servants, through this mutually consented dialogue mechanism.

“With this understanding, and in order to provide a conducive atmosphere for dialogue, the two sides have agreed that the ‘stay away’ which was to commence today, Monday 11th February, 2013 is cancelled. All public services will continue to be delivered normally.”

Both the Government and CSTU appealed to all civil servants to resume their normal duties.

Meanwhile, ”the Government of the Republic of Malawi wishes to assure all civil servants that it remains committed to improving their welfare within a sustainable national framework, to ensure that Civil Servants deliver services efficiently and effectively for the benefit of all Malawi and for the socio-economic development of the country,” concludes the  statement.

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