NURUL HUDA JAMALUDDIN
PETALING JAYA: The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) is hopeful the Public Service Department (PSD) will accept its proposal to abolish the lowest salary grades of 1 to 16.
The congress, representing almost one million civil servants in the country, wants the lowest grade to start at 17, with a basic starting monthly pay of RM820.
Cuepacs president Datuk Omar Osman said: "The decision lies with the department. We hope the proposal will be considered and accepted by year-end."
Cuepacs submitted the proposal at a meeting with PSD director-general Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Abdullah last week.
Describing the meeting as "positive", Omar said: "The department requested a report on feedback and support of heads of departments (HODs) and we will be sending this soon."
Among the issues discussed were the unequal upgrading of grades and salaries not commensurating with academic qualifications.
"Some positions in the lower grades, such as cooks and administration support staff, were upgraded but positions like machine operators, in similar grades, have remained for years."
On salaries not commensurating with academic qualifications, Omar said: "Some of the lower paid civil servants had better qualifications upon entry or had gained better credentials during their service, like the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and diplomas, but these were not recognised.
"It's unfair for these civil servants to remain in the same grade until they retire."
Omar noted the PSD would carry out a comprehensive review of the grades before making a decision.
"We will be having discussions with the department from time to time," he said, adding that the next meeting was expected to be in June.