The department described the strike, now in its third week, as illegal.
But spokesperson of the striking staff, Austin Kamanga, laughed off the demand in an interview. He argued there is nothing new government is saying.
Kamanga said the staff will not be intimidated and are not returning to work unless their demands are met.
In a statement signed by Secretary for Public Service Management Isaac Zimba-Bondo, government said during a meeting on January 12 2012, three days after the strike had started, it was agreed that while discussions are in progress, the striking staff should return to work.
The statement said the meeting was attended by judges, other officials from the Judiciary, principal secretaries and officials from the civil service. Government said it is disappointed that “the staff have reneged from the agreed action plan.”
But Kamanga said the striking staff agreed from the word go that once they start the industrial action, they will not enter into any negotiations unless their demands are met.
Said Kamanga: “This is not the first time they are asking us to return to work to pave way for discussions. They had all the time.
“In 2007, when we staged a sit-in to enforce implementation of…terms and conditions of service approved by Parliament in 2006, they used this trick to get us back to work. In 2010, we staged another sit-in and government tricked us again. This time around we are saying enough of it; we will only resume work only when our demands are met.”
The Malawi Law Society (MLS) on Monday warned government that its membership would mobilise mass protests should government continue being indecisive on the matter, arguing it was negatively affecting the peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s right to access justice and the right to economic activity, among others.
Ministry of Justice Principal Secretary and Solicitor General Anthony Kamanga, speaking in an interview on Monday in reaction to MLS demands to address the matter or face the mass protests, said stakeholders, including a committee from the Judiciary and government, are discussing the matter.