The Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) in Malawi has said it still plans to meet government to renegotiate a pay rise despite the recent average 21 percent increment which was effected in July.
Â In an interview on Monday, CSTU secretary general Pontius Kalichero said although government effected the increment, the union expects it to further review salaries as the hike was not in line with the current cost of living.
CSTUâ€™s demands follow governmentâ€™s decision to increase subsistence allowances for Cabinet members by almost 80 percent.
â€œIf they have decided to increase ministersâ€™ allowances, it shows that government agrees with us that things are unbearable for everybody. The problem is that when it comes to issues of such high-ranking officials, things are looked at urgently, but they should also know that we are suffering,â€ Kalichero said.
During the presentation of the 2012/13 national budget, government announced an average 21 percent salary increase for civil servants.
â€œWe agreed that after July, we should continue with our negotiations with government since the 21 percent was just a cushion against the hardships of that time,â€ Kalichero said.
He said CSTU has already approached government to open negotiations and what was remaining was setting of dates.
â€œOur hope is that when we reopen the negotiations, we will be considered along those lines because things are still going up every day,â€ he added.
Government increased subsistence allowances for the Cabinet from K25 000 to K45 000 effective August 6 2012, a development that an economic analyst described as â€œunfortunateâ€.
The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) has since defended the increase, saying the hike is responding to recent increases in hotel rates.