Support staff at the University of Malawi (Unima), which comprises Chancellor College, the Polytechnic and College of Medicine on Thursday started strike aimed at forcing government to give them 45 percent salary increase.
The strike follows that from the judiciary, while parliament and the Anti Corruption Bureau have threatened to down tools as well.
A visit to College on Medicine and Polytechnic showed staff sitting outside their offices with the latter having shrubs on the gate.
University Workers Trade Union president Flanklin Kapani could not be reached but his counterpart at College of Medicine Francis Mdala confirmed that that they are demanding 45 percent salary hike.
“We are not going to work till we get what we want. We are failing to survive due to the increased cost of living,” said Mdala.
He pointed out that they have been discussing with government over the issue but that nothing tangible has come out.
Mdala said when they met officials, they were told that nothing could be done in the absence of the University Council.
“Initially, we asked for 30 percent but we were given only 14 percent. But now we want 45 percent because things have gone up,” he said.
Civil servants got up to 45 percent salary increase and government has pointed out that it was aimed at harmonising salaries with those of other sectors.
But Mdala said the harmonization is unfair considering that civil servants have more benefits than them.
“For example, after retirement, they (civil servants) get pension for the rest of their lives while for us, it is only five years,” he said.