Government has given in to Judiciary support staffs’ demands for salary hike and has since given an assurance the 65 percent increment will be effective by July this year after national budget approval by Parliament.
Last month the support staffs gave government a 14-days ultimatum to hike their salaries or face industrial sit-in following its refusal, through Ministry of Finance, to give in to the demands to have the Judiciary workers pay at par with recently hiked civil servants’ salaries.
But in response to the ultimatum, government through Department of Human Resource and Management has agreed to adjust upwards the remuneration.
In the letter dated April 26th and signed by Principle Secretary for Human Resource and Management, Sam Madula, government while admitting to have no money to endorse the increment immediately, assured it was working on the issue and that all will be set come July.
In an interview, Judiciary Supporting Staff Union Chairman, Charles Lizigeni said plans to hold the sit-in have been cancelled indefinitely following the assurance letter.
“I don’t see any need to push for a sit-in when they have assured us we will get our demands by July. Now we should focus on our work and wait on their promises. We are happy that they have finally agreed to give us the increment and assurance that it will be a trend henceforth,” Lizigeni said.
According to agreement as in accordance to Condition of Service for Members of Staff of the Judiciary, 2006 Part X1-revision (42) part (2), the salaries for judiciary support staff is supposed to correspondingly increase once there is a general increment in salary and allowances for the Civil Service.
However, despite effecting 65 percent salary hike for civil servants in February this year, government did not automatically hike salaries for Judiciary support staffs who then threatened to go on strike by April 29 to influence authorities effect the increment.
The workers argued that were surprised and dismayed to note that their general salary revision has not been implemented.
Perks in the Judiciary have always been controversial. Last year, before the late Bingu wa Mutharika died, judges and magistrates joined in an indefinite strike started by judiciary support staff.
Judicial clerks stopped reporting to work in January last year but the courts remained functional as judges and magistrates could be accessed.
Lawyers also threatened to stage nationwide protests if government does not address the concerns of the judicial staff.