Salary policy reform highlighted at conference

Wednesday, 2017-12-13 14:57:36
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Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue at the workshop
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NDO/VNA - Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue emphasised that salary reform is an urgent demand at a conference in Hanoi, on December 13, to discuss the experience of Vietnam and the rest of the globe in renovating salary policies.

The Deputy PM said that salary reform is closely linked with administrative reform and the reshuffling of the political apparatus and public service agencies.

However, he pointed out the need to seek proper payment policies that suit the specific conditions of Vietnam, which requires careful calculation.

Dr. Jinho Jeong, from the Korea Labour Institute, held that it is necessary to consider the complication of tasks and the level of responsibility, along with prices and living costs in deciding salary levels in the public sector, to ensure that the salary can cover the minimum standards of living.

It is crucial to consider the equality of wages between the State-owned and private sectors, he said.

Meanwhile, Director of the International Labour Organisation’s Office in Vietnam Changhee Lee said that the salary system in Vietnam’s public sector is confusing, for example a person in a higher position may have a lower salary than some subordinates.

He asserted that the application of wage coefficients makes it difficult for the adjustments of salary in a regular and orderly manner in the public sector. Furthermore, there are too many types of supplementary allowances, he added.

Changhee Lee recommended that along with the change in the salary payment policy, it is necessary to keep the supplementary allowance below 50% of the total salary package.

Economist Pham Chi Lan noted that regular spending accounts for nearly 70 per cent of State budget spending, of which 47% is spent on salary payments.

Lan pointed out a number of challenges facing salary reform, including the mind set on the role of the State and the relations between the State, the market and society.

Irrational and overlapping allocations of functions among State agencies, a lack of transparency, poor accountability, along with red tape and corruption are also among the barriers to salary policy reform, stressed Lan.

She added that the current system of recruitment, salary payment, promotion and dismissing of public servants does not create the necessary pressure or motivation for salary reform.

Concluding the discussions, Deputy PM Hue shared the specialists’ opinion that the public servants’ salary must ensure the minimum standards of living, and must be balanced with the business sector and the market.

He also agreed on the need to switch from the use of wage coefficients to calculate salary to specific figures, and to reduce the proportion of supplementary allowances in salary packages.

In the private sector, he stressed the need for maintaining minimum wage to ensure that no worker is paid under the minimum amount, thus protecting vulnerable groups.