Finance Minister Dr. Ken Lipengaâ€™s announcement that civil servants will receive an average of 21 percent salary increment has shocked nurses and midwives who anticipated a 46 percent hike.
National Organisation of Nurses and Midwives (Nonm) president Jonathan Abraham-Gama said in a questionnaire response on Monday, they were surprised that despite their demands being pegged at 67 percent, government chose to offer a 21 percent increase.
Abraham-Gama, however, said the organisation hopes that government will adjust the salaries further considering the inflation brought about by the recent devaluation.
â€œWe expected 46 percent, however, we were surprised that 21 percent salary average increment was announced without much explanation on the maximum salary increment percentage,â€ said Abraham-Gama, who was part of the negotiation team between government and civil servants representatives.
He said the 46 percent increment, which was agreed upon, was on a lower side considering the initial 10 percent devaluation plus the recent 49 percent devaluation and inflation of approximately 18 percent.
â€œGenerally, as nurses and midwives in this country, we expected a higher salary increment as you are aware, we pegged our demands at 67 percent on short-term measure to help civil servants due to effects of fuel shortage and 10 percent devaluation of kwacha and inflation rate that was at 12 percent some months ago,â€ he said
Abraham-Gama said if government does not consider their pleas, civil servants representatives will continue engaging authorities to exhaust the process of negotiations before thinking of the next course of action.