Bùi Văn Cường. — Photo laodong.vn
Bùi Văn Cường, President of the Việt Nam General Confederation of Labour, speaks to Việt Nam News Agency about the need to reform the country’s salary system.
What’s the significance of the survey conducted by the Steering Committee of the Party Central Committee on the country’s salary policy?
After 13 years implementing the country’s reformed policy on salary, social insurance and subsidies for people who have rendered services to the nation under the Resolution of the Party Central Committee of the sixth, seventh and eighth legislatures, we have made some progress, but not up to expectations or requirements.
Our salary policy has not become a motivation encouraging salary earners to devote their hearts and minds to their jobs. Our policy on minimum wage has not been able to cover the minimum living conditions of the salary earner and their family. In addition, the current salary relationship between public white collar and blue collar workers is still based on an average and it is much lower compared with the market – salary relationship. Adding to that is the salary scales applied to Government officials and public employees as well as officers in the armed forces are very complicated and backward. The salary policy has failed to encourage salary earners to improve their work performance.
The salaries paid to people working in State-owned enterprises and those working in Government offices are also irrational.
That’s why the Central Steering Board on the salary reform policy, social insurance and beneficiary policy for people who have rendered services to the nation conducted a survey on salary policy to develop a proposal to present to authorities. A key objective of the new salary system is to encourage all wage earners to improve their performance and to contribute to the cause of national building and defence.
What’s wrong with our current basic salary system?
The concept of our current basic salary system was defined in Government Decree No.66/2013.
The decree sets a basic salary system for all public employees, Government officials and people in the armed forces.
Basically, the concept of a basic salary system has been used as a reference to calculate the salary scales which have been described in the Decree 204/2004/NĐ-CP of the Government on the ‘Salary system for cadres, civil servants and people in the armed forces’.
Our current basic salary system is so low compared to minimum wages regionally regulated in the Labour Code.
The future basic salary system for public employees, Government officials and others should be revised. A good salary will become a motivation for them to work harder.
How should the Government reform the salary system?
Salary policy is a very important and sensitive policy. Good salary policy lays a solid foundation for all salary earners to devote their hearts and minds to their jobs, to the nation’s course of socio-economic development. Of course, salary reform policy needs political commitment from the Government. That’s why the Việt Nam General Confederation of Labour would like the Party and Government to pay special attention to the following five issues:
First, the Government would like the Party to issue a resolution on salary reform to make sure all salary earners and their dependants can live on their salaries and have some money for rainy days.
Second, the Government should grant self-financing autonomy to any office/unit within public agencies to reduce the number of people depending on the Government budget.
Third, the Government should ask the Party to support its efforts to expand administrative reform and the application of e government to cut payrolls.
Fourth, the Government would like the Party to support its plan to transfer some public services to the private sector to reduce public spending and to have more money to invest in development
And finally, the Việt Nam Fatherland and socio-political organisations as well as the people should monitor the implementation of the proposal on salary reform when it is approved. — VNS