By Vincent Gunde
LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) and Teachers Union of Malawi [TUM] have jointly noticed Government of their intention to call for a nationwide industrial action in form of strike for all civil servants in Malawi from Monday, January 9, 2023.
The CSTU and TUM say the notice is following the recent Government Negotiation Team (GNT) meeting with the Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) and Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) that took place on Friday, December 16, 2022 in Lilongwe.
In a letter addressed to Government Negotiating Team with copies to the Secretary to the President and Cabinet (SPC), Secretary for Labour and Secretary General of the Malawi Congress of Trade Union (MCTU) dated December 21, 2022 signed by Madalitso Njolomole and Charles Kumchenga respectively, a warning has been sent to Government that the strike shall be called-off until it addresses all the concerns they presented.
The letter says CSTU and TUM have opted for the nation-wide industrial action due to Government’s failure to address most of the workers’ concerns in relation to the current prevailing high cost of living in Malawi that has made lives of majority of public civil servants unbearable.
“It is our sincere hope that Government will treat this letter with utmost urgency it deserves to mitigate the negative consequences of this planned nationwide industrial action,’’ reads part of the letter.
Meanwhile, a Malawi Congress Party (MCP) diehard of Mvera in Dowa district Mr. Rodgers Kamphangala, has asked those behind calling for a nationwide industrial strike not to fool their colleagues aiming to be silenced by Government.
Kamphangala observed that similar previous industrial strike have been ended in tears without yielding the specific objectives with allegations that the Union leaders have pocketed money from Government to call off the strike.
He also advised teachers not to be divided with some opting for a sit-in while others are teaching in classes advising them that the benefit of the strike goes to all and it is good to join the strike as a union and one voice.
’’Stand up with one voice, you are not killing sons and daughters of the poor but Government will be answerable to the poor,’’ said Kamphangala.
He has also asked Government to raise Auxiliary Teachers allowance from MK80,000 to MK150,000 a month claiming that many of these are teaching in the very remotest areas and cannot survive with MK80,000 adding that if Parliamentarians have raised for themselves sitting allowance to MK100,000 from MK80,000 per day why not this happen to teachers?
Kamphangala has expressed optimistic that President Lazarus Chakwera will handle the letter by himself to address the challenges civil servants particularly those at lower grades are receiving as salaries per month.