Mon, May 29, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Railway work crew chiefs to get pay raise as of this July

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications has decided to give a 10 percent pay hike for leaders of the Taiwan Railway Administration's (TRA) railway maintenance crews.

The proposal, which was made last week and has been approved by the Executive Yuan, could benefit up to 500 TRA employees, who would get an additional NT$3,400 a month.

At present maintenance crew leaders receive the same as other crew members, but have more responsibilities.

The pay raise is scheduled to take effect in July, Vice Minister of Transportation and Communications Ho Nuan-hsuan (何煖軒) said.

Ho also serves as the director-general of the TRA.

MORALE BOOSTER

The pay hike for ground-level TRA employees is viewed as a way to boost the morale of the nation's oldest state-run operation. The agency has been under public scrutiny recently after a series of scandals, and occupational accidents and job-related fatalities.

Ho said that the pay raise would cost the TRA an addition NT$20 million (US$624,400).

"If it [the raise] allows workers to focus on the job more and help reduce the number of accidents, then costs would only decrease, not increase," Ho said, noting that a recent derailment cost NT$70 million.

RECRUITMENT DRIVE

Meanwhile, the ministry plans to recruit 540 new employees this year by resuming a personnel test that was put on hold for seven years.

It has also arranged to have some of the workers engaged on the Hsuehshan Tunnel (雪山隧道) construction project transferred to the TRA after construction is completed.

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