Chen stands firmly by personnel conversion
By Ann Yu The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- A civil service ministry official yesterday rejected claims that the ministry agreed to convert finance workers into civil servants in the recent Cabinet restructuring even as Premier Sean Chen expressed support for the approach.
January 6, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Political Deputy Minister of Civil Service Wu Chung-cheng said he strongly opposed the conversions, saying “there was no such thing” when he was asked by reporters if the Ministry of Civil Service (MOCS) had approved the Cabinet's requests.
Wu said the MOCS was obliged to maintain fairness. The MOCS, Wu said, is a central government branch that oversees the entire nation's examination system. He added that in the 2003, the Supreme Court had ruled that the finance examinations were not equivalent to the civil servant tests.
The recent debate over whether some finance workers employed by the Bureau of Labor Insurance (BLI) and Bureau of National Health Insurance (NHI) would be converted into civil servants following a ministry upgrade has created disagreement between the MOCS and the Cabinet.
The debate occurred after the MOCS questioned the legality of converting certain employees who have not passed the required examinations into civil servants, which is against the Civil Service Employment Act.
According to the Cabinet, roughly 1,000 finance workers and other qualified employees are eligible for the conversion.
MOCS Approved Conversions Decades Ago: Premier
According to Premier Sean Chen, around two decades ago the MOCS approved the conversion of some finance workers into civil servants. However, he said, the MOCS later reneged because existing law was unclear on the matter.
The premier said those qualified for the conversion all passed promotional examinations around twenty years ago. These exams had been established by the Ministry of Examination (MOE). “The MOCS is worried that such a conversion would disrupt the civil servant system, but these people have also passed exams,” he said.
The MOCS insists that these individuals had not sat the actual civil servant exam. The MOCS is worried that in future others will take advantage of this model, bypassing the standard procedures for becoming a civil servant.
The premier disagreed, saying such a situation is unlikely as the restructuring of a bureau into an administrative organ is rare.“These workers have worked hard, too. They are no different from a civil servant. They should be given the rights of a civil servant's benefits once their working units are upgraded into an administrative organ,” he said.
Workers Frustrated over Debate
Some finance workers from the BLI, which is currently under the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA), expressed their frustration yesterday over the MOCS' resistance to converting their status.
According to the Cabinet, with the upgrade of the CLA into an administrative organ later this year, some 400 finance workers may become civil servants.
Workers complained that most of them passed the finance examinations and were employed before 1986, when the Civil Service Employment Act took effect. According to the BLI, employees have either passed the civil servant exams or the finance exams.
We Passed Exams and Worked Hard Too: BLI official
BLI official Chen Dong-liang said, “We passed the exams that were established by the MOE. Many of us worked with the BLI to launch many labor insurance programs and reforms. We also worked extensive hours to reach our goals. Rejecting our requests to become civil servants is not fair.”