17 April 2008

Govt agrees to almost all Cuepacs demands

The Star

PUTRAJAYA: The Government has agreed to five of the six demands by Cuepacs, including extending the retirement age for civil servants from 56 years to 60, and the scrapping of efficiency level assessment (PTK) examination.

However, there will no be RM2,000 honorarium payment in lieu of bonuses last year.

Cuepacs president Omar Osman said that in a 45-minute meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at his office here Thursday, the Government had agreed to all its demands except the honorarium.

"The Prime Minister explained that should the Government give out the honorarium, this may spur another round of price increases in food stuffs like what happened last year when we received our salary revision.

"We agreed that we should sacrifice this demand as we also don't want certain parties to take advantage by increasing the prices of their goods," he said, adding that Cuepacs was also mindful that prices of certain goods such as flour, bread and rice had also increased recently.

However, the Government had agreed to the other demands -- the extension of the retirement age, the reinstatement of critical and housing allowances, that pension payment be based on one's actual years of service, and scrapping the PTK examination.

"The Prime Minister will make the announcement soon," he said, describing the outcome of the meeting as "positive".

"Cuepacs is relieved that the Government has agreed to all the above," he said, adding that the Public Service Department would be brief Cuepacs on Friday on the new method of evaluation for PTK.

The PTK, which has become a bone of contention among civil servants, was introduced in 2002 when the Malaysian Remuneration System replaced the New Remuneration System.

Passing the PTK examination was used as a basis for promotion in the civil service.

Others present at the meeting included Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, PSD director Tan Sri Ismail Adam and Finance Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Wan Abd Aziz Wan Abdullah.

Asked if this meant that Cuepacs would not be boycotting the Workers Day event on May 3, Omar said the main executive council of the civil servant umbrella group was happy with the results of the meeting.

"However, we still have to bring the matter of boycotting the event to our members to decide on Friday," he said.

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