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Government and Unions Reach Agreement on Salary Increment for Civil Servants

A man counts out Zambian kwacha 50 denomination banknotes in this arranged photograph in Lusaka, Zambia, on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. Zambian Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda is seeking to restore confidence in the economy to help reverse the world's worst currency performance, record borrowing costs and sliding growth. Photographer: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

In a collaborative effort between the government and Public Service Unions, a salary increment of K550 across the board for civil servants has been agreed upon, effective January 1, 2024. The decision comes after 10 days of negotiations involving representatives from 19 workers’ unions in Chilanga District.

A joint press statement released and signed by Margaret Miyoba, Permanent Secretary of the Public Service Management Division, and union representatives outlines the key terms of the agreement. In addition to the salary increment, the parties have decided to revise the rate of transport allowance from 15 percent to 20 percent of the monthly basic salary. The rate of meal allowance will also see an increase from One Hundred Kwacha to One Hundred and Thirty Kwacha. Importantly, other existing conditions of service for Public Service employees will remain unchanged.

The negotiation process has been marked by mutual cooperation, with both the government and unions committed to finding a balanced agreement. The parties have also expressed their commitment to continuing engagement to address any outstanding administrative matters related to conditions of service.

During a press briefing, Foster Matakala, President of the United Public and Allied Workers Union of Zambia, spoke on behalf of other unions, stating that the agreed-upon offer of K550 across the board is a fair compromise considering the economic challenges facing the country. Matakala emphasized that the unions recognize the current economic situation and are not demanding beyond the government’s affordability.

“We know the challenges that our country is going through, and we cannot demand beyond what the Government can afford,” said Mr. Matakala.

Inambao Sitwala, Deputy General Secretary for the United Health and Allied Workers Union of Zambia, echoed similar sentiments, noting that the K550 offer is acceptable, especially given the government’s plan to employ more public workers in the health and education sectors by January 1, 2024. The unions acknowledge that the increased workforce will contribute to a higher wage bill, and the agreed-upon terms reflect a practical and sustainable solution for the present economic conditions.

The salary increment, along with the adjustments in allowances, is anticipated to positively impact the welfare of civil servants while aligning with the government’s fiscal responsibilities.

Source: Lusaka Times