Malawi’s civil servants demand salary hike, threaten strike

Malawi’s civil  servants have asked government to increase their wages  or face a crippling public sector strike.

Civil Service Trade Union (CSTU) president Eliah Kamphinda Banda has made it clear they would strike if their demand for salary increase is not addressed amid an increase in general inflation.

Banda said the civil servants are getting low salries which is not matching with the high cost of living.

He said demands to increase the salaries  have been raised with the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) .

“We have made our case c,ear to government  to work on the remuneration and  we expect civil servants salaries to at least match the poverty datum line,” he said.

Kamphinda Banda: Threatens strike

CSTU  president said the current pay  is out of sync with the cost of living.

Banda said their approach remains non-confrontational, but  warned that they would be compelled to go on mass action if government will not address their demands.

Commentators says government cannot technically adjust civil servants’ salaries in the middle of a financial year which ends on June 30 2012 unless through the mid-term budget review in parliament.

Acting Secretary in the department of Human Resource  Isaac Bondo said government was still enganging the labour union in talks.

Bondo assured that Capital Hill will address their concerns.

Demand for salary increase comes at a time when Members of Parliament (MPs) from both sides of the House on Tuesday unanimously adopted a Public Appointments and Declaration of Assets Committee report which will see their  monthly pay package rising from K390 000 ($2 335) to about K1 million ($5 988).

The proposal  will however wait  for the final approval by the Head of State.

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