By McMillan Chasunda
The Malawi Civil Servants are planning a national wide strike as a reaction to the decision of government not to offer a better salary increase from the current proposed 24% which the workers have rejected, Banthu Times have learnt
According to sources from the Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) who opted for anonymity, there is a breakdown in talks between the government and the Union where the latter has threatened to go on strike should the government not take into consideration their grievances.
“At present we are waiting for relief from the parliamentarians to help civil servants in order to get a better deal.” Said the source adding that should parliament not offer a reprieve the Union will have no choice but to go on national wide strike.
The proposed strike will be the first test for the DPP led government resolve to deal with issues of national importance.
In sharp contrasts to assertions that the Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima indicated about the pathetic salaries of civil servants during campaign, the DPP Government has offered 24% increment to civil servants of which the Union has denied. Mr. Chilima is on a record to have said that what the civil servants in Malawi receives is “change”
“It is a surprise for the people that mocked salaries of civil servants as change would continue to offer the same meager salaries and mock the civil servants.” Queried a member of CSTU
The decision to raise the salaries with 24% has angered civil servants especially that the members of Parliament have got a 200% salary increment which is unheard of.
Commenting on the same, Malawi Congress Party (MCP) President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera also called government to live to its promise as regards to the salary increament for the Civil Servants. Chakwera who is also leader of opposition in Parliament made the remarks when reacting to the budget statement in parliament on 10September
“The party in government today lamented that civil servants were getting peanuts and that it would remunerate civil servants adequately if voted into government. Government should fulfil its promise to civil servants and not change tune now. Delivering what you promised is what is called hitting the ground running!.” Said Chakwera