Cuepacs wants higher wages for civil servants, disputes tried in Industrial Court

Datuk Azih Muda speaks during a press conference during Cuepacs' National Labour Day celebration held at Stadium Indera Mulia in Ipoh May 2, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib
Datuk Azih Muda speaks during a press conference during Cuepacs' National Labour Day celebration held at Stadium Indera Mulia in Ipoh May 2, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

IPOH, May 2 — The Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) president Datuk Azih Muda urged the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to increase the minimum wage of civil servants and allow the workers of statutory body and government departments to bring their cases to the Industrial Court.

Azih, in his speech at the Cuepacs National Labour Day Celebration here, said that while private sector wages have increased within two years, government servants have yet to enjoy their pay increase.

“The wages civil servants are getting now are only sufficient for two weeks’ due to the high cost of living, which the government can’t control,” he said in front of about 4,000 civil servants who attended the celebration at the Stadium Indera Mulia here.

“And for the remaining weeks, they borrow money from the banks, cooperatives and even loan sharks to manage their daily expenses,” he added.

Azih said the government need to give priority to the issue of cost of living as if it continues to increase, he believes that it might in turn affect the integrity of civil servants.

“The government will not go poor if they increase the wages. The increase in the wages will give more spending power to the workers, thus it will sustain the economy and give more revenue to the country,” he said.

Azih hopes that the government would increase the wages at all levels of the government.

He also noted that workers from statutory bodies and government departments need to get the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong if they want to bring their work-related cases to the Federal or High Court.

“And if they get the consent, the cost for the case management will be higher for the Federal and High Court.

“This is not fair as the workers from the private sectors can bring their cases to Industrial Court or the Labour Court without any restriction and the cost is cheaper,” he said.

Meanwhile, Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran pointed out that civil servants’ wages fell the purview of the Public Service Department.

“However, I promise that even though the issue is not under my ministry, I will definitely bring the matter to the prime minister,” he said in his speech.

Kulasegaran also welcomed the suggestion to direct civil servants’ cases to the Industrial Court, saying it would save cost and time for workers.

“This is a good suggestion, but I can’t make an immediate decision. I need to get the approval from the Cabinet members and also the prime minister,” he said.

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