Monday, March 7, 2016

Cuepacs protests against hiring freeze in public sector

The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) is crying foul over the freeze in the intake of new recruits in the public sector, effective March 1. Cuepacs president Datuk Azih Muda said the decision by the Finance Ministry via a treasury circular titled "Government expenditure optimising measures guideline" would bring negative social and economic implication to the nation. "Cuepacs disagrees with the ministry's action and will meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and urge him to review the matter," he told reporters in Miri, Sarawak today. He said Cuepacs found out about the circular yesterday, after it was uploaded on the ministry's website. He said Cuepacs was disappointed with the ministry's action which made the decision without any discussion, seeing the negative impact of the directive was more towards the lower rung and not upper rung staff. He said the social impact the nation would face would be increased unemployment, especially among Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia school leavers and those with other certificates. Azih added the action would further slow down the economic recovery, following the critical shortage of civil servants to implement tasks according to schedule, especially if it involved interior areas in Sabah and Sarawak. "Cuepacs urges ministry officers working in Putrajaya to get down to the field and see personally the situation in certain areas nationwide before issuing the guideline." He said certain areas, especially in the rural and interior regions required a high number of manpower due to the vast areas and geographical conditions involved, such as Sabah and Sarawak. "For example, if the only woman administrative assistant in an office goes on three months' leave after delivering her baby, who is to carry out her duties if there is no other staff holding the same post?" The 11-page treasury circular outlined 14 guidelines, among which was the ban against the creation of a new job except via trade-off and redeployments and no additional financial implications. The circular also directed the creation of new jobs for critical posts which were directly involved in education, health, security and enforcement, while revenue collection must be conducted under tight security. For the concept of redeployment, it must be given priority for new projects which had been completed such as schools, hospitals/clinics, police stations and others to ensure the distribution of staff emplacement was made based on function/expertise and customer demand. The circular also directed that vacant posts which were not filled for more than two years be abolished. "We also disagree on the matter of procedure over overtime allowance which is being increasingly tightened in the circular as this will hamper smooth performing of duties due to bureaucratic red tape," said Azih. – Bernama, March 7, 2016.]]>

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