More than 20% pay hike awaits Judiciary
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe has disclosed that salary increases in government will be done using Treasury Index, a system used in grading officers in government.
Following that system, Gondwe said the Judiciary will get a 20 percent salary increase on top of what the main civil service will be given in the 2015/16 financial year.
Gondwe could, however, not explain the percentage the civil service is expected to get but emphasised that the trend would continue.
The Finance Minister said the idea is that public and civil servants with similar grades across the board should be on the same salary scale.
However, Gondwe said there are some professionals who need special recognition, citing judges as being part of the group.
“Government departments have their commissions, that is what the Constitution says and we cannot do anything about that; all we can do is to respect the Constitution. But eventually, every salary scale has got to be approved by Treasury Index,” said Gondwe.
He said for other public servants, including the judicial support staff, an agreement was reached that they will be getting an annual 18 percent salary increase.
During the current financial year, several government departments withdrew labour to demand salary increaments after government offered the civil service an average of 45 percent salary hike.
“We did a lot of ground work last year, and we believe things are now okay because the judiciary agreed with what was suggested,” said Gondwe.
Ministry of Finance spokesperson Nations Msowoya said as part of the Public Sector reforms programme, government has engaged experts who are analysing Acts of Parliament governing government departments, a process that will culminate into salary harmonisation.
“The public sector reforms are aimed at streamlining public sector decision-making structures to be more efficient and well remunerated,” he said.
On his part, Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula described the decision as a good development.
“All what we want is to see the welfare of judicial officers improving. And we could have been happy if [they were] given something better in the current financial year,” said Mvula.
Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) president Servace Sakala cautioned government to treat the issue of salary harmonisation seriously.
Sakala said regardless of the branch of government, all public servants on the same grade need to be on the same salary scale, warning that if government does not do that the union will use force.
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