Information emerging from discussions between government and unions representing civil servants on salary increment indicates the parties have reached a compromise.
The agreement, reached as late as Wednesday night, is expected to be announced by Finance Minister Dr. Ken Lipenga when he presents the 2012/13 national budget in Parliament today.
According to sources, government told officials from the Civil Servants Trade Union (CSTU), the Teachers Union of Malawi (TUM) and the National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives in Malawi (Nonm) that it could not meet the demanded 67 percent increment considering the countryâ€™s current financial situation.
Civil servants had been demanding a market value salary and the 67 percent increment as a starting pointâ€”to be paid in arrears dating back to July 2011.
“From the way government representatives spoke, it was clear that indeed government was in a fix to meet the demanded percentage because of the current financial status and there was need for compromise,” said a source.
Another source said it was clear the government offer was less than 15 percent, but after negotiations, an agreement was reached that civil servants would be given a 46 percent increase.
“As we stand now, the negotiations agreed a salary increment of 46 percent. This remains unofficial until the budget is presented and the compromise on tax-free bracket has been pegged at K19 000 although the wish of unions was K20 000,” said the source.
Government negotiating team leader principal secretary for Health Willie Samute on Thursday said he had nothing to say when asked to comment on the reported meeting and agreements.
CSTU president Eliah Kamphinda Banda, while confirming the meeting took place on Wednesday, remained non-committal on the agreements, saying comments will come after the budget presentation.