THE Lusaka High Court has ruled that the salary package offered to the Judicial and Allied Workers of Zambia (JAWUZ) is fair and reasonable taking into consideration the prevailing conditions in the public service.
Mr Justice Matthew Chisunka made the ruling in a matter in which the Attorney General sued JAWUZ secretary general Vincent Makondo over disputes between JAWUZ and Government surrounding the negotiations for collective agreements.
Mr Justice Chisunka said JAWUZ should not insist on K300 medical allowances in view of a proposed medical scheme to be introduced before the end of the year.
He added that the dispute before court concerned JAWUZ claiming for increased pay rates of which they were Government workers.
The judge said the respondents submitted demands for a substantial increase in pay due to high levels of inflation and workloads associated with the levels of cases being filed in court.
He said Government on the other hand offered to increase the workers’ pay in percentage and stated that the offer was made in context of and within the agreed parameters and the constraints of the available resources as evidenced by the letter from the Treasury, Ministry of Finance.
Mr Justice Chisunka said having considered the position of both parties, he noted that there had been several meetings and failed reconciliations leading to the disputes before court.
He added that he also noted that the parties had agreed on a number of issues that were presented to the bargaining table which however could not be effected without the parties signing the collective agreement because of the disputes which centred on inflation, ability to pay, industry practice and productivity.
JAWUZ was demanding a salary increase of K2,000 across the board, an increase of 25 percent of salary as transport allowance which should be non- taxable and an introduction of K300 medical allowances across the board.