The country’s public sector unions have appealed to government to consider a higher increase for lowest paid civil servants who include primary school teachers, nurses and ground workers.
In the budget statement delivered on Tuesday last week, Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe, said the recurrent budget includes an amount of K163.3 billion which meant a 24.4 percent proposed increase for civil servants, but the Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU) and Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) have rejected the proposal.
According to the unions’ joint press statement issued on Friday, much as the unions appreciate the economic challenges the country is going through, government should consider raising the wage bill from the proposed K163 billion to K170 billion although it would still remain far below the majority of civil servants meeting the most basic necessities.
The unions also said the 24.4 percent had not been allocated across the grades.
“Such being the case, the demands presented to the Government Negotiating Team during the previous meeting still stands. These demands include paying specific attention to Grades R, M, L, K and I,” the statement reads in part.
The Nation has established that R is the lowest grade in the civil service for ground workers who earn as little as K29 000 per month while Grade M is for clerks and some police officers while Grade L is for primary school teachers.
Grade K is the entry point for diploma holders while Grade I is the entry point for degree holders.
Gondwe is expected to respond to reactions from various stakeholders, parliamentary committees and political party spokespersons on finance when debate on the budget starts this Wednesday.