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24 Oktober 2008

NO PLAN TO RETRENCH 50,000 SAYS GOVT

NST
24/10/2008



PUTRAJAYA: The Public Services Department (PSD) has rubbished talk that more than 50,000 contract employees in the civil service would be retrenched by the end of this year due to budget constraints.
Its chief, Tan Sri Ismail Adam, said there was no such government policy on the matter.He was responding to claims by the Congress of Union Employees in the Public and Civil Service (Cuepacs) that some contract workers were expected to be retrenched by the end of the year.Ismail said all government agencies, be it at the federal or state level, as well as statutory bodies, recruited contract staff independently, based on their need for manpower.He said it was the prerogative of these agencies to take in the employees or terminate their services when the need arose.
Cuepacs chief Omar Osman, meanwhile, when contacted, said that although it was the right of the agencies to end the services of their contract workers, they should consider the welfare of the group.Cuepacs, he said, had long been fighting for the employees to be absorbed into the civil service as permanent staff, but to no avail.He said scores of union members who were attached to several government agencies had reported that they had been given a month's notice to leave the civil service.Omar added, the employees had told him that the excuse given by their respective agencies was that there was not "enough budget to accommodate them".Some, he said, had been employed on a contract basis for up to 20 years and had recently been given a notice of termination."We are appealing to the government to consider the plight of these people who have been of service to the government."This is especially so during these hard times, when they have mouths to feed and bills to pay."Asked to name the agencies, which were supposedly terminating their contract workers, Omar said the complainants did not want to name their employers as they feared repercussions, adding, however, that it involved government agencies across the board.Omar said Cuepacs could not accept the excuse given by the government agencies that they could not afford to retain the services of the employees.He said Cuepacs had sent a letter of appeal to the PSD to retain the workers, adding that he had also asked for the department to either re-deploy them or absorb them as permanent workers.

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