Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP) staff have since Monday this week barred their director Dye Mawindo and his three deputies from entering their offices in Malawiâ€™s capital, Lilongwe.
The staff have been agitating for an accumulated 146 percent salary increase.
Mawindo confirmed the development in an interview on Tuesday, saying the move has paralysed operations at the ODPP.
â€œWe have been told we should not enter our offices since Monday. As a result, we cannot access any information,â€ said Mawindo.
Spokesperson for the striking staff, Clement Banda, also confirmed delivering the message to his bosses â€œbecause management wanted to continue working.â€
Mawindo reiterated discussions are still underway with government and hoped the matter will be resolved soon.
But Banda claimed the employees have not been briefed on their grievances.
â€œWe have just heard there is a committee at OPC on the matter, but nobody came to us on the matter,â€ he said.
Deputy Chief Secretary responsible for public service Willie Samute said the matter is being handled by the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM).
The workers argue that government has omitted them in several civil service salary increments, which is against the provisions of their conditions of service.
The conditions stipulate, among others, that ODPP staff salaries shall be increased together with those of mainstream civil servants.
The increments under dispute include the 2005/2006 fiscal year when government implemented a 39 percent rise for the mainstream civil service; 15 percent in 2009/10 and nine percent in 2011/12.
The staff were nonetheless included in the 2007/2008 and 2008/09 fiscal years when government effected a 21 percent increase and they have also been given an average of 15 percent in the current fiscal year.