15 June 2008

Cuepacs want Govt to standardise COLA


Cuepacs today asked the government to revise the cost of living allowance (Cola) for civil servants in tandem with the hike in prices of fuel and essential items.

President Omar Osman said the Cola quantum fixed based on the workplace location was no longer relevant as civil servants working in rural areas were also paying the same price for petrol as their colleagues in urban areas.

“For instance, in Kuala Lumpur, the Cola has been been fixed at RM300 and RM150 in other districts. The quantum is no longer relevant owing to the 41 per cent rise in petrol price and 63.3 per cent for diesel,” he told reporters after opening the 15th annual general meeting of the Pahang branch of the National Union of Health and Medical Employees.

Petrol price had increased by 78 sen to RM2.70 a litre and diesel up by RM1 to RM2.58 a litre.

Omar said civil servants’ salary rise of up to 35 per cent in July last year would not be enough to cope with the additional financial burden.
He said the public sector umbrella union would forward a proposal to the government to standardise the Cola rate regardless of the workplace locality or increase the Cola amount to tide over with the higher living cost.

Omar said Cuepacs would also ask the government to consider a special allowance for civil servants required to work at night as an incentive for working odd hours than their colleagues working the normal work shift.

He said night-shift employees needed higher concentration at their workplace to the extent that some of them suffer undue stress.

The two proposals would be open to members for their approval at the congress’ meeting on June 28, he said.

The union would also discuss at the meeting whether to agree or reject the government’s decision to pay salary twice a month from August to civil servants, he added.

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