The Coalition of Lesotho Public Employees (COLEPE) says it wants nothing less than 25% for the increment of their salaries by the government, Newsday has learned.
This follows the tabling of the 2022/23 financial budget that has stated that public servants’ salaries will be increased by only 5% after a series of attempts by COLEPE to have talks with the government of Lesotho to discuss how the public servants’ salaries should be hiked.
In a move to show their seriousness on their stance, the public servants have even written to the District Commissioner of Police requesting for a permit to hold a peaceful demonstration in order to present their petition to the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Prime Minister in Maseru next week.
The move follows a prior one whence the civil servants had written to the Prime Minister few days before scheduled dates for the presentation of the 2022/2023 fiscal budget.
In that letter they had indicated that, in receipt of information obtained from good authority that when budget estimates for the fiscal year 2022/2023 are presented, civil servants would be getting nothing as increment, they made their demands for nothing less than 25% in pay hikes.
According to the associations, the past three years have been the hardest to them and they have had to live with the zero increase with the understanding that the country has been economically hit hard too.
In their letter to the Prime Minister they said, however, with some government decisions, among others the M5000 salary increase purported to be fuel for Parliamentarians, the foregoing understanding has become illusive and can no longer hold water.
Meanwhile, LEPOSA’s Deputy Secretary General Inspector ‘Makatleho Mphetho on behalf of COLEPE indicated that no communication was made to them by the office of the Prime Minister following the initial letter.
“We realize that there is an increase of 5% on civil servants salaries but that was not what we asked for. We have stated clearly that we demand nothing less than 25%. That is we are prepared to embark on a demonstration to present our petition,” she said.
Mphetho indicated that, they are very hopeful that they will be granted permit because the Prime Minister has relaxed Covid-19 restrictions on movements.
COLEPE consists of the Lesotho Police Staff Association (LEPOSA), Lesotho Public Service Association (LEPSSA), Lesotho Association of Teachers (LAT), Lesotho Teachers Trade Union (LTTU), Lesotho Schools Principals’ Associations (LESPA), Qiloane Nursing Assistants Association (QINUASA), and Lesotho Nurses Association (LNA) autonomous associations or unions duly established under the laws of Lesotho to represent police, teachers, nurses and public servants.