|Nurses take care of babies with disabilities at the Thủ Đức Youth Village in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Tràng Dương
HCM CITY — Government workers and civil servants in HCM City asked for higher salaries in a meeting held by the city People’s Council on January 21 to listen to their voters’ opinions.
Trần Thanh Tú of the Thị Nghè Social Welfare Centre for Orphans with Disabilities complained that the incomes of his centre’s staff are too low though they do many tasks like taking care of children with severe disabilities who cannot do anything by themselves.
Last year, 40 workers quit, he said, adding that the city should ensure a reasonable income for them.
Lê Hồng Hạnh of the Tam Bình Social Welfare Children Centre said the centre has nearly 200 orphaned and disabled children.
Most of them are ill or severely malnourished and so the centre needs doctors, but it has been difficult to hire doctors for many years because of the low salaries, she said.
Staff from the Food Safety Management Board and the Husbandry and Animal Health Division and teachers from many schools also complained about their low incomes.
Lê Văn Làm, deputy director of the Department of Home Affairs, said the Department of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs, which is in charge of managing social welfare centres, should review the salaries of centre workers and make recommendations for hikes to his department so that it could seek approval from the People’s Committee.
The city is considering raising salaries under a roadmap after the National Assembly passed a resolution on piloting special mechanisms and policies for the city’s development, including those related to the incomes of civil servants and public employees, he said.
Loans for buying house
The Government workers also called for amending policies to increase the loan amounts for them to buy houses.
Phạm Bảo Nam of the Inspectorate said they only get a maximum loan of VNĐ500 million (US$22,026) from the HCM City Housing Development Fund, too little to buy a house or apartment.
Nguyễn Ngọc Thạch, director of the HCM City Housing Development Fund, admitted that the sum is low and suggested that the People’s Committee should increase it to VNĐ600 million.
People’s Council chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Quyết Tâm said relevant agencies should study and make recommendations for various levels of loans because the financial needs are not uniform.
Not all could be provided the same amount of VNĐ500 million or VNĐ600 million, she said.
A Department of Construction official said the city also has policies for preferential housing loans for the public employees.
Nguyễn Quốc Toản, chairman of the trade union at People’s Hospital 115, said the low-priced social housing available in the city is too little to meet demand.
There is too much red tape involved in getting a loan from the fund, he lamented.
For instance, people who want a loan need to have their managers certifying they do not own a house, but it is hard for people to know for sure about their subordinates’ assets, he said.
Thạch said IT should be used to manage housing in the city and a database should be set up.
The meeting also heard complaints about urban management and food safety. — VNS