Malawi Government has offered a 15 percent salary increment to all parastatals, including the University of Malawi (Unima) which was demanding a 113 percent hike.
The increment, according to communication from Comptroller of Statutory Corporations Nwazi Mnthambala, is expected to be tapped from the same subventions approved in the 2012/13 budget, but without affecting activities of the parastatals.
The increment has riled the lecturers, with the Malawi Polytechnic already on strike to press for a better deal.
Highly placed sources within Unima disclosed that if lecturers accept the 15 percent increment without extra funding from government, it will drain their annual subvention in the next three months as most of the money would go to salaries.
The sources wondered where government thinks Unima would get the additional funds to run the institutions, including purchasing of stationery. They fear that increasing salaries within the existing budget could affect service delivery.
In a memo dated August 9 2012 to all chief executives of subvented parastatals, Mnthambala advises that government has approved salary increases for permanent employees by 15 percent to cater for cost of living adjustment and annual notch movement.
The memo reads: â€œIn view of the fact that the budget has already been passed, it is expected that salary increases will not affect implementation of your activities.â€
Meanwhile, the Unima Office in Zomba has called for an emergency meeting to be held in Zomba this Wednesday where all representatives of the constituent colleges management and their unions representatives have been invited to discuss the communication from government.
Secretary to the Treasury Radson Mwadiwa said the best person to comment on the matter was the author of the memo, Comptroller of Statutory Corporations. But he said the government budget was based on available resources.
Meanwhile, Mzuzu University (Mzuni) staff, currently on strike, have also turned down the 15 percent offer.
Following their meeting, the staff called on management to find ways of beefing up the increment to 21 per cent it promised within seven days or staff would close down the collegeâ€™s cafeteria and clinic. The move is aimed at forcing students out of campus. (Additional reporting by George Singini)