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Cabinet, Exam Yuan to continue talks on temp worker placement

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Executive Yuan will continue to hold dialogues with the Examination Yuan to find a solution on how to keep temporary government workers on the job after a restructure effort, said Huang Fu-yuan, personnel chief of the Executive Yuan, yesterday.

At issue is a proposal by the Executive Yuan that a special civil service exam be held for 1,094 temporary financial analysts and technicians from the Labor Insurance Bureau and the National Health Insurance Bureau who are now out of jobs after the two agencies underwent a restructure. These temporary workers can become real civil servants if they pass the exam, under the Cabinet proposal.

The Cabinet maintains the legality of holding the special exam, citing the National Health Insurance Bureau Act and other legislation as the legal ground for doing so.

The Examination Yuan, which oversees Taiwan's civil service examination and pension systems, disagrees with the Cabinet and opposes the proposal, saying bringing these workers into Taiwan's civil service would increase government spending over the next decades to come.

Yesterday, Huang said continued discussions with the Examination Yuan will be needed to resolve their differences.

“The government personnel office has received special instructions from Premier Chen that negotiations continue with the Examination Yuan,” he said. “We'll continue to talk about the issue and see if we can find common grounds.”

The Ministry of Examination under the Examination Yuan, meanwhile, expressed its strong opposition to holding a special exam for these workers, arguing from the point of justice and fairness.

“A nation's civil service examination system should be competitive and open to all,” the ministry said. “If there is going to be a special exam, it should not only open to laid-off temp workers but also to everybody else.”

The ministry even threatened to take the case to Taiwan's highest legal authority.

“If the Examination Yuan and the Ministry of Civil Service do not do anything about it, we'll file a request with Taiwan's Constitutional Court to decide on the constitutionality of holding such an exam,” the ministry said.

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