The Ministry of the Interior on Friday proposed an amendment to the Police Personnel Management Act (警察人員人事條例) that would raise the seniority pay for junior police officers and firefighters by NT$1,370 (US$46.59) per month and benefit an estimated 64,000 people.
The proposal was announced ahead of a scheduled demonstration by a number of retired police groups next week in response to pension cuts for police and firefighters, which are to take effect on July 1 pursuant to the Act Governing Civil Servants’ Retirement, Discharge and Pensions (公務人員退休資遣撫卹法) passed in June last year.
Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) expressed hope that the proposed salary raise would help to soften the backlash sparked by the government’s ongoing efforts to reform pensions.
Civil servants’ salaries are comprised of basic pay, seniority pay and a professional allowance.
In response to media queries about whether the government made the proposal in response to the backlash, Yeh said that the ministry had deliberated over the plan for “quite a while” and hoped it would soon come into fruition.
Considering that the jobs of entry-level police officers and firefighters are unique and dangerous, the ministry plans to raise the ceiling on seniority payments for fourth (bottom)-tier officers and firefighters, which would translate to an increase of NT$1,370 per month in their seniority pay and about NT$1,600 in their pensions, Yeh said.
The pay increase would benefit at least 52,000 police officers and 12,000 firefighters, and would raise the government’s annual expenditure to about NT$700 million, he said.
The ministry on Friday notified the Executive Yuan of the proposed raise and is to formally submit a draft amendment, which is to be forwarded to the Examination Yuan before a legislative review, he said.
There are about 65,000 police officers and firefighters in the fourth tier, making up about 80 percent of staff in the two professions, but there are only about 4,000 third-tier officers and firefighters nationwide, making it difficult for basic officers and firefighters to be promoted, Yeh said.
Offering basic officers and firefighters a salary raise instead of a promotion should help to compensate for the lack of mobility in the system, Yeh said, adding that the raise would also apply to the Coast Guard Administration.
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