Wage bill to get extra K2 billion
The negotiations that the leadership of Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) and the Government Negotiating Team (GNT) had at the Capital Hill in Lilongwe on Tuesday have resulted in government side promising to add K2 billion to the initially proposed wage bill of about K303.5 billion.
The development means the public sector wage bill is expected to increase from about K270.7 billion in the ending financial year to about K305.5 billion in the 2017/2018 fiscal year beginning July 1.
The sceptic union, however, demanded the production and signing of a letter of commitment as the government side reportedly hinted at the promise being subjected to some talks between Ministry of Finance and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which passionately preaches against bloated wage bills.
CSTU Secretary General, Madalitso Njolomole, told a civil servants’ gathering at the Capital Hill on Wednesday that the two sides also agreed to significantly reduce the salary increase percentages for some top civil servants to accommodate the “reasonable” increase in salaries for officers in K, L and M grades.
About 65 percent of civil servants including junior police officers and primary school teachers are said to be within grades K to M.
The meeting also saw CSTU, which has been pushing for an increase in the minimum entry gross pay of K75,000 from about K60,000 for lowest paid civil servants, accepting a give-and-take amount of K72,000.
Earlier, CSTU Treasure General, Joseph Mtambo, warned that if other sections such as the Judiciary will have their demanded house allowances and Members of Parliament (MPs) receive their planned 95 percent salary hikes, the union will have no option but to protest.
“Why should some sections within the same government be treated differently? If they bow down to their demands, we will go their again,” Mtambo said.
The union’s president, Servace Sakala, said government should look at many problems that are leading to the economic malfunction instead of wasting time blaming the wage bill which is a must to have for any government.
In his budget statement, Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe announced an average salary increase of 10 percent for civil servants and public officers.
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