Extra NT$10 bil. may be spent if Cabinet OKs civil service restructure: MOCS
By Ann Yu ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The government will spend an additional NT$10 billion if the Cabinet approves an increase to the number of civil servants following its recent restructuring, according to the Ministry of Civil Service (MOCS).
January 4, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
Following the upgrade of the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) and the Department of Health to becoming administrative organs — akin to a ministry — the Cabinet has proposed that some specialized employees be converted to civil servant employees.
Some Cabinet officials believe that those who were employed in the finance and accounting sector were required to pass finance exams, which was equivalent to a civil servant examination.
Political Deputy Minister Wu Chung-cheng strongly opposed the statement, saying that it would cost the government an additional NT$10 billion for these “civil servants'” benefits, lashing out at the officials for “trying to go through the back door.”
According to the Cabinet, there are roughly 1,000 contracted workers or those working in finances employed by the Bureau of National Health Insurance (NHI) and Bureau of Labor Insurance (BLI) who have the right to become civil servants. While lawmakers from the Kuomintang (KMT) mostly agree, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers are highly opposed to the idea, slamming the proposal as “finding a secret way to legalize things.”
Unfair to the System
The biggest difference in becoming a civil servant, according to Wu, is that those workers will be eligible to enjoy their retirement pensions under an annuity system instead of the originally required lump sum. Besides that, they will also enjoy an enhancement in their salaries, retirement, benefits and bonuses, he noted.
According to Wu, although those who were employed as finance workers passed a finance examination test, it was an examination established by each individual bureau, instead of the MOCS. “This is highly against the rules and regulations of the Civil Service Employment Act,” he said.
Wu added that it was unfair to 10,000 finance workers of the nation if the Cabinet ratifies those under the BLI and NHI to become civil servants. “This would be taking advantage of the upgrade of the commissions,” he said.
Last year, Wu insisted on rejecting the CLA's proposal in converting some employees into civil servants. “If they succeed, then 15,000 other same-level workers in government bureaus will request it,” he said, adding, “How do you think society will think about this?”
Same for the Treasury
According to NHI Director Huang San-quei (黃三桂), there are roughly 475 employees working for the bureau who have passed the finance examination. From his point of view, Huang expressed that he would like to see these workers become civil servants.
As for the additional NT$5 billion spent on these workers, Huang said that he was not sure how the number was calculated. “If these workers are converted to civil servants, they give up their original retirement pensions and convert to the civil servant system,” he said.
Worker's Rights Protected
The Minister of the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission Sung Yu-hsieh (宋餘俠) explained that although some employees will begin working under the administrative organ following the bureaus' upgrades, it does not mean they will become civil servants.
According to Sung, those employees working as specialized personnel passed examinations that were approved by the central government. This means that their right to work for government units should be protected following the transformation, he said, but their benefits and salaries should remain the same.