Malawi public workers battling with 24.50 percent inflation have maintained their demand for “at least 50 percent” pay hike to cover the rising cost of living in the cash-strapped southern African country.
Civil Servants’ Trade Union (CSTU) said General Secretary, Madalitso Njolomole the latest demand was justified.
The union leaders rejected the proposed 24 percent increment in the 2014/15 National Budget.
CSTU leaders argued that the 24.4 percent salary increment is not enough to serve a civil servant with basic necessities amidst increased costs of living in the country.
They asked government to increase the wage bill from the proposed K163 billion to K170 billion to cater for the lowest paid grades in the civil service who include teachers and police officers
“Our main query is that salaries of the Judiciary, Parliamentarians and we, the civil servants are processed through the same offices and we save the same Government so why then, should there be a difference in the amount of the money we receive,” reasoned Njolomole.
Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) general secretary Denis Kalekeni disclosed that the unions wanted the lowest paid civil servant to get at least K85 000, which is equivalent to the salary of a driver in the Judiciary.
“Government had offered a percentage increment with which we disagreed and to which we counter offered an over 50 percent hike.
“We were thus, shocked when the Finance Minster brought out 24.4 percent in Parliament during presentation of the 2014/2015 National Budget,” said Kalekeni who added the hike was not even close to the minimum living wage as per findings of independent economic research experts.
“We are conscious of the economic problems our country is undergoing and the proposal we are offering will be enough to at least serve us with our basics without disturbing any monetary plans by Government,” further said Kalekeni.
It was however disclosed that the talks with the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) on salary harmonisation within the civil service were not yet concluded and that the dissatisfaction would be tabled at the final meeting.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :