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CSC working on new salary standardization law

February 14, 2006 12:30pm
Lamenting that the present setup encourages higher-ranking officials to seek greener pastures elsewhere, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) is batting for a new salary standardization law.

CSC chairwoman Karina David on Tuesday said the present 33-grade salary standardization is attractive at the lower level, but benefits pale with those in the private sector at the higher levels.

“You have 33 salary grades, with eight steps per grade. Each step involves a 2.5-percent increase in salary. But the steps don’t deal with merit because they are virtually automatic. Whether you like it or not, you are assured of going up one step. It’s meaningless," David said.

Because of such a setup, she said there are now government employees with higher rank supervising people in lower ranks but who get higher salaries.

In many cases, she said people refuse to be promoted, “because in effect they would just be accepting more work for the same wages."

Worse, she said some government financial institutions (GFIs) and government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) are exempted from the salary standardization law, prompting many employees to leave government agencies just to transfer there.

“Everything has become a stepping stone to a government financial institution that will pay higher salaries but is exempted from the salary standardization law," she said.

She said there have been cases where a driver in a GFI or GOCC that is exempt from salary standardization gets the same salary as a division chief in a regular government agency.

“There are simply too many disparities," she said.

David said the CSC is working on a new version of the salary standardization law that will feature “fewer salary grades but with broader bands."

But she admitted implementing such a law will require a huge amount of funding, and implementation may be staggered for three to four years.

“When the first salary standardization law was discussed there were certain political decisions, and whatever framework the Budget Department developed was mangled. All 33 salary grades were compressed, and the issue was no longer based on fitness but whether we have the money (to pay the salaries)," she said.-GMANEWS.TV
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