By M. KRISHNAMOORTHY
KUALA LUMPUR: Cuepacs, comprising more than 1.5 million civil servants, wants 13 months' pay for its members with payments made every two weeks to cope with the oil price rise.
Rejecting the government's move to pay salaries twice a month, they suggested salaries every two weeks, or 26 payments, in a year.
“We need more money because the oil price hike has triggered a sharp rise in prices of many essential items and our members are suffering,” its president Omar Osman said.
Cuepacs is also against the proposal to reduce the monthly Employees Provident Fund contribution from 11% to 7% for some 40,000 civil service employees.
“In the long run, the employees are not going to have any savings if the quantum of their contribution is reduced,” he said after chairing the Cuepacs council meeting.
Cuepacs also wanted the Cost of Living Allowance (Cola) to be standardised at RM500 per month nationwide, he said, adding that the current Cola payment of RM100 to RM300 which depended on the state and place of work was not a fair system.
“All the civil service employees nationwide have to pay the same price for fuel including those living in poorer areas. For this reason, the Government should have an equitable policy and not pay higher Cola for those living in the cities,” he said.
However, Omar said Cuepacs supported the Government's move to send back foreign workers to create opportunities for government workers to take up more part-time jobs currently held by foreigners.
“There are more than 1.5 million workers here and if Malaysians can take over these jobs it will be a big relief for the Government and help arrest the outflow of our revenue,” he said.
On the fuel price rise, Omar said it was unfortunate that workers were not consulted when the Government decided to raise the price.
“The Government did not even get any feedback from us on how it could avoid affecting the workers in the civil service,” he said.
Omar said Cuepacs had also informed the Government that the Manjung Municipal Council had made its workers return to work on Saturdays without paying overtime.
“This is not fair and we want the Government to stop any exploitation of workers,” he added.
The Star Online: 29 Jun 2008