Judiciary support staff yesterday suspended their strike after protracted negotiations with management over their demands regarding remuneration.
Judicial workers across the country began an indefinite industrial strike last Friday to press government for a 27 percent increment in salary arrears, among other demands.
On Monday, the striking employees rebuffed Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda’s plea to call off their strike, insisting they would not return to work unless their demands are met in entirety.
However, as discussions continued yesterday, the employees bowed down and agreed to resume work while authorities are looking into their demands.
Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula and Support Staff Union president Charles Lizigeni confirmed last evening that the two parties agreed to call off the strike.
“It is true the strike is over and tomorrow [today] we are all resuming work. We have agreed that, for the time being, we should suspend it while discussions are in progress,” said Lizigeni.
Mvula also said discussions proceeded yesterday where the Chief Justice agreed to look into all the concerns raised by the members of staff.
The Malawi Law Society (MLS), which intervened in the matter after meeting senior management of the Judiciary and representatives of the support staff, welcomed the development.
“This is a welcome development and we are hopeful that the issues raised by the striking employees will be resolved speedily and that we shall no longer have times when courts are closed for any reasons related to the remuneration because that is not good for our justice delivery,” said MLS president John Suzi Banda.
The issue dates back to 2014 when the employees pushed for a 45 percent salary increment, but in line with the 46 percent that was given to the mainstream civil service, they ended up getting 18 percent and are now demanding the difference.
During that impasse, the Judiciary support staff refused to provide their services for almost two months and resumed work in January 2015 after they reached an agreement with government.