22 April 2008

Cuepacs demands: Focus on getting a better deal for competent workers


THE government rejected Cuepacs' demand for a one-off honorarium of RM2,000 for its 1.2 million civil servants. This was a wise decision. Cuepacs and the civil servants should instead be grateful to the government for the recent revision of the salary scheme.

Although the salary revision did not reflect the qualification and seniority of civil servants, I feel it is morally wrong of Cuepacs to demand an honorarium. The huge increase in pay, especially for support groups, is even better than an honorarium, and the increase in pay for those in the lower rungs is much higher than that for senior civil servants.

Cuepacs should now work on resolving more serious matters, including those involving senior civil servants who are always sidelined when new policies are implemented.

The request for the extension of the retirement age for civil servants to 60 is overdue. When we have politicians who are still serving at the ripe age of 70, why can't civil servants do the same?

If an employee feels that he cannot serve up to the age of 60, he or she should retire at 56 or even earlier. Let's hope the government implements the new retirement age soon.
I think there is one more thing Cuepacs overlooked when it presented its request to the government: gratuity. At the moment, civil servants are paid gratuity for a maximum of 25 years of service. This is not fair to those who have worked for more than 25 years. Some even retire after more than 35 years with the government. Why are these faithful servants of the nation not given due recognition?

As for the critical and housing allowances, sensible consideration should be given to those working in big towns and cities. The present housing allowance is definitely a pittance.

The Cuepacs president also announced that the PTK (Penilaian Tahap Kecekapan) will be restructured and the examination will be scrapped. Whether or not this is a good move is yet to be seen.

Instead of promoting a civil servant based on 40 objective questions, the government should look into a better system where competent and efficient civil servants are promoted based on meritocracy.

Promotions should also not depend heavily on appraisals by department heads because most of the time, cronies get the highest marks even when they are sleeping on the job.

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