Written by MALAWI GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATING TEAM
The Malawi Government has noted with concern calls by the Civil Service Trade Union (CSTU) for a sit-in by civil servants to force Government to adjust upwards salaries and improve working conditions of civil servants.
Government wishes to inform the public that the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) only received the demands of the CSTU on Monday, 4th February, 2013 and at its meeting on Thursday, 6th February, 2013, the GNT resolved to institute a Task Force comprising members from the two sides to, among other things, quantify the demands and advise Government on how best to address them.
The Task Force will also determine the percentage by which Government can raise salaries of civil servants, in view of the limited resources.
The public may wish to be informed that Government has already started addressing some of the demands by the Trade Unions within the CSTU.
For instance, the Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) has been complaining about promotions for teachers and Government has responded by directing the promotion of 11,000 teachers.
Secondly, the National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives (NOMN) asked Government to purchase drugs for public hospitals and Government has provided K1.1 billion for that purpose.
Thirdly, Government already started addressing the issue of civil servants’ salaries by increasing salaries for lowest paid civil servants by 46 per cent and the highest paid by 21 per cent in the current financial year.
Government wishes to note that some of the demands by the CSTU have a bearing on the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) which Government is implementing, hence the need for a thorough and honest discussion by the two parties to reach a mutual agreement.
Since there has not been adequate time for discussions between the GNT and CSTU since Government received the demands latter, Government feels that all channels of communication have not been exhausted, hence the call for a strike is un-procedural.
Government would like to stress that it is still committed with the negotiations with CSTU on various issues including the issue of civil servants’ salaries until a mutual agreement is arrived at.
Government would like to reiterate its commitment to improving the working conditions of civil servants to ensure that they deliver services efficiently and effectively for the benefit of all Malawians and for the social-economic development of the country.
GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATING TEAM
9th February, 2013.