Ministry of Education, Treasury and a negotiating team from the Council of the University Malawi (Unima) met in Lilongwe on Wednesday where government made another salary increment offer.
Secretary for Education, Science and Technology John Bisika said in an interview on Thursday, the meeting was held in preparation for subsequent meetings the Unima Council negotiating team will have with its unions.
Bisika said the Unima Council team presented to the meeting the salary percentage lecturers were proposing, but said government made an offer slightly higher than the 21 percent salary hike already offered.
Lecturers at Chancellor College (Chanco) in Zomba and Polytechnic in Blantyre are proposing a 113 percent salary rise based on, among other factors, the recent devaluations of the kwacha and inflation.
Said Bisika: â€œWe reasoned with Unimaâ€™s negotiating team to understand that our coffers are not okay and that budget was passed and these figures were not in the budget. We asked them to reason with the unions and understand this.â€
Chancellor College Academic Staff Union (Ccasu) president Sunduzwayo Madise confirmed the Unima Council negotiating team met his union in Lilongwe and there was a salary increment proposal that was put on the table.
Madise said they were given a chance to discuss the proposal with union members before returning to another meeting scheduled for this Friday. He declined to disclose the percentage of the salary increment government offered.
Madise said: â€œBut there is willingness on both sides to resolve this amicably. We are hopeful these meetings will bear fruits.â€ He said the union was also going to meet Thursday evening to discuss way forward on a seven-day ultimatum given to Unima management to resolve the dispute or they would withdraw labour, and the deadline coincided with the Wednesday meeting and the meeting to be held this Friday.
Lecturers at the Polytechnic continue withholding their labour as the talks proceed. The Polytechnic Academic Staff Committee on Welfare (Pascow) were also scheduled to brief their staff on theÂ progress on Thursday.
On labour disputes in Malawi
It seems there is nobody who is thinking of ways of preventing the strikes in parastatals. As the devaluation was looming, government was saying there would be ways of cushioning the effects. But nothing is happening. Please go back to your donors to ask for help. â€”SMS
This is not a matter of saying letâ€™s see Joyce Bandaâ€™s maturity, no! Zingofunika kukambirana because everyone needs increment and Unima need not punish students. â€”SMS
JB acted in haste
JB reacted so fast to in devaluing kwacha by politicising the Malawi economy for her ambition and fame. Oh, yes, ndalama yavuta, sizinawoneke. Kachilombo kotchedwa devaluation kakutilanga a Malawi. JB tiyankhuleni. â€”SMS
The raising of MPsâ€™ basic pay by 28 percent is very unfair to civil servants who got only 21 percent. How special are they as some only have an MSCE?
We pay for services
Water boards should strike, but not cause drying of taps because we pay for the services. If not, let them have dry taps at State House. Take us back to Pharaoh, Madame President, given the current economic hardships. â€”SMS
It is unfair for John Kapito, Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director, to say JB has failed and must step down. Which party can change things just in a moonlight. Kapito should not be wise today. He was actually among the top people who championed devaluation of the kwacha. He should also champion measures to cushion the effects and not pointing fingers at others. â€”SMS
The President should act on subsidy fertiliser grievances. Hundreds of names of the poor are missing on the list in Ntcheu at Nkhande RDP. â€”SMS
Could you encourage your columnists to use both e-mail and SMS numbers for feedback. I have in mind the Raw Stuffer, Bottom Up, Back Bencher. Not all of us have e-mails. â€”SMS
Trial and error
I feel this government is running on a trial and error basis.
Honestly, you cannot have a party without proper policies. How can you devalue a local currency without giving proper mechanisms on how people will adapt to its effects.
Much as one would claim that Malawi is better now, I feel we are worse than the late Bingu wa Mutharika administration.
Our President Joyce Banda has on several occasions made serious allegations like there are some business gurus sponsoring terror. How can one individual manage to disturb the whole country? I feel blame game will not help matters here rather she should tell us what her government is doing to curb the malpractices.
Therefore, I appeal to her leader to find lasting solutions to the current problems rocking our country Malawi.