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Salary harmonisation takes chameleon pace

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THE representatives of the Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) have said they plan to meet the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) regarding one of the almost forgotten public service reforms areas; salary harmonisation in government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

The issue of salary harmonisation in government which arose over five years ago was one of the sticky issues in public reforms agenda that the Vice President Saulos Chilima was leading.

The salary disparities in the public service are believed to have originated from 1994 democratisation process. When the government started creating governance institutions, those who were hired to fill positions in those institutions are said to have negotiated for different remuneration which created what some people believe are ‘remuneration injustices.’

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CSTU General Secretary Madalitso Njolomole said it is the wish of the union to see that salaries for officers of similar grades in all MDAs are harmonised as soon as possible. “We understand that the draft bill for the establishment of one board for public service conditions of service is with the Ministry of Justice but we do not know when the bill on the same will be in Parliament.

We are asking for a meeting with the government negotiating team to push for the implementation of a fair system to all public officers,” Njolomole said.

Secretary for Human Resource Management and Development Blessings Chilabade told Parliamentary Cluster on Commissions few weeks ago that the government is finalising the process and hoped the bill on the same will be tabled in November this year.

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“We have done almost everything and we already submitted the draft to the Ministry of Justice,” Chilabade told the committee.

Member of Parliament for Karonga South Malani Mtonga had asked Chilabade why the government was delaying to finalise the process for fairness sake. “Should we say you have completely abandoned that plan?” Mtonga asked Chilabade.

Chilabade, however, said the process of reviewing and harmonising the statutes that led to the creation of the seven different commissions that look into the conditions of service for public officers has been done and what remains are final legal experts’ touches.

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