BLANTYRE--The University Council, that oversees the affairs of public universities in Malawi, Tuesday announced a 25 per cent salary increase for university lecturers.
But the Polytechnic, the university's constituent college in Blantyre - already on a month-long industrial strike - refused to immediately accept the offer while Chancellor College in the eastern city of Zomba, said the offer was a fair deal.
Both constituent colleges were demanding a 113 per cent salary hike citing the recent 49 per cent devaluation of the Malawi currency, the kwacha.
Sunduzwayo Madise, the Chancellor College Academic Staff Union president, said the college was happy with the 25 per cent offer because the University Council has promised they would be increasing salaries "little by little" owing to the ailing economy.
"We demanded 113 per cent but Council told us there is no money but offered us 25 per cent," he said. "We agreed that they will be giving us little by little because of the problems the country is facing."
But Gift Khangamwa, Secretary General of the Polytechnic Academic Staff Committee on Welfare (PASCOW), said the 25 per cent salary hike - effective from July 1 - was not immediately acceptable.
"As far as PASCOW is concerned negotiation between Council and PASCOW is still on-going," he said. ""We are hopeful things will come to normal. We will continue negotiating; the stand of the Polytechnic is that we continue to negotiate with Council."
Malawi has of late witnessed wide-cat strikes since the government of Pres Joyce Banda, which came to power in April following the sudden death of Pres Bingu wa Mutharika, allowed a 49 per cent devaluation of the Malawi currency, the kwacha.
©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction without acknowledgment prohibited.