Some of the would-be staff members told reporters they had heard that in Nampula polling stations staff are being paid much less than in other provinces. They claimed that in Maputo the staff are being paid up to 5,000 meticais (about 162 US dollars). The Nampula demonstrators wanted the wages revised upwards before they would sign any contracts.
In fact, the wage scale for election staff is uniform across the country, according to Lucas Jose, head of the STAE press office. He told AIM that the payment for a polling station chairperson is 2,200 meticais, for a deputy chairperson 1,950 meticais, and for a secretary 1,700 meticais. Every polling station also has four tellers, who are each paid 1,500 meticais.
This is for one day's work - although, since the polling station count continues deep into the night, it could be considered two days.
Jose said that, in addition, each candidate is paid 200 meticais for food on each day of the ten day training period. That comes to a total of between 3,500 and 4,200 meticais for 12 days.
Jose added that some of the demonstrators said they had been led to believe they would receive the public service minimum wage, but STAE had never made any such promise.
In any case, a little maths shows that polling station staff earn more than the minimum wage. The current minimum wage for the public administration is 2,699 meticais for a complete month's work. The polling station staff will receive at least 3,500 meticais for only 12 days.
The training period does not end until Thursday, only then will STAE make a definitive selection from the candidates.