By Staff Writer
“They raise salaries and perks for themselves when they want to but say they don’t have money when we ask for our increment,” an angry parliament staffer said on Monday.
We cannot, he said, go back to work with the proposed 18 percent…we need at least 24 percent.
The Parliament Staff Union on Monday downed tools effectively shutting down the National Assembly demanding a pay hike of about 24 percent.
This action halted a crucial budget mid term review meeting in the capital Lilongwe that seeks to approve a supplementary budget and allocate more resources to disaster relief following the devastation caused by floods especially in southern Malawi.
Union President Leonard Tilingamawa told the press that they have been trying to negotiate for a pay hike for some time now.
“They never took us seriously and now we are not going to work and we don’t want the 18 percent offer that government has offered to be paid in arrears from October last year,” he said.
“What we want is the 24 percent increment because we can’t believe that government can’t raise that amount of money for parliament staff when they have been increasing salaries for other civil servants at around 45 percent,” he said.
The Mutharika administration has been rocked by unprecedented strikes in recent months. The judiciary support staff last month paralysed the court system delaying many cash gate cases in the process. Staff at the Anti-Corruption Bureau were next to join in a first ever strike in the history of the anti- graft body.
Mutharika is also facing another potential strike from Malawi Revenue Authority staff who are currently negotiating quietly with government.
If the tax collectors go on strike, revenue collection will be affected and the set targets likely to be missed.