University lecturers stick to 113 percent pay hike
University of Malawi (Unima) management met lecturers’ representatives in Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe, last week to communicate the 21 percent salary increment government has offered.
But the lecturers rejected the offer, according to representatives of the Chancellor College Academic Staff Union (Ccasu) and the Polytechnic Academic Staff Committee on Welfare (Pascow).
Ccasu president Sunduzwayo Madise said despite the 21 percent offer, the 113 percent salary increment demand by the lecturers still stands.
He said Ccasu is going to meet for a way forward. Madise said the Unima management proceeded to meet officials at the Treasury over the issue but did not brief the dons on the outcome of that meeting.
Pascow secretary general Gift Khangamwa, in a separate interview, said his union rejected the 21 percent offer. He said their demand remains the same, 113 percent.
Initially, government offered 15 percent salary increment to all employees in parastatals, but was forced to make the 21 percent salary hike later in an apparent effort to avert any industrial action.
Lecturers at the Polytechnic in Blantyre are already on strike; Chancellor College in Zomba declared dispute on August 15 this year and gave 21-day notice and at College of Medicine, some services have been affected.
On the other hand, Unima support staff, through the University Workers Trade Union (UWTU), are demanding a 75 percent salary increment.
Civil Society Education Coalition executive director Benedicto Kondowe on Monday said as a way forward, there is need for transparency and accountability in the way salary matters are addressed.
Said Kondowe: “As a standard practice, salary increment should be negotiated and that where employer is unable to implement wholesomely, an internal agreement should be agreed upon over a given period satisfactory to both parties.
“Unima should also embrace transparency and accountability to foster cooperation between itself and the employees. In critical decisions, some level of engagement is paramount, and this calls for selflessness.”
Kondowe appealed to government to be pro-active and act on recommendations from previous studies on the conditions of lecturers in the university.