Sun Yat-sen School, the 800 Heroes veterans’ group, the National Civil Servant Association and other groups yesterday said they would promote a referendum to oppose President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) plan to cut pensions for retired civil servants, public-school teachers and military personnel.
To push through its policy on pension reform, the government has vilified the nation’s civil servants, public-school teachers and military personnel, school principal Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) said.
The school and other groups plan to put forward a referendum proposal after the Lunar New Year, which they hope would collect enough signatures to be run alongside the nine-in-one elections at the end of this year, Chang added.
The government should pay the amount promised at the time of hiring, which employees deserve “based on legitimate expectations,” he said, adding that the government’s pension reform should not apply to those hired before the changes took place.
If the government wants to change its contract with its employees, it should hold negotiations, as an employer and employees would be required to do under the government’s draft amendment to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) said.
The potential bankruptcy of the pension fund should not be a reason to cut pensions, Chiu said, adding that those responsible for managing the fund should bear the responsibility of the bankruptcy.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been using its majority to force through all kinds of bills, often disregarding standard procedures, National Civil Servant Association director Harry Lee (李來希) said, adding that since the legislature no longer represents the public, referendums must be used to correct its policies.
Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷), a retired lieutenant general and spokesman for the 800 Heroes group, said if the government tries to push through a bill to cut military pensions, the group would consider holding more protests.
Military personnel do not want to fight the government over pensions, but how can a government be so tight-fisted with its military and still expect them to give up their lives for the nation, he asked.
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