Fri, May 25, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet approves pay raises for public safety workers

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong speaks at a news conference at Executive Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Executive Yuan yesterday approved a draft 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, firefighters and coast guard personnel by NT$1,370 (US$45.77) and is expected to benefit an estimated 66,000 people.

The salary hike was proposed in recognition of the laborious and dangerous nature of the work of police, firefighters and coast guard personnel, as well as more than 28,000 of the nation’s approximately 64,000 police officers and firefighters not having opportunities to receive promotions under the current system, Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) told a news conference in Taipei.

The amendment seeks to raise the ceiling on seniority payments for fourth-tier (entry level) officers, firefighters and coast guard personnel, which would translate to an increase of NT$1,370 per month in their seniority pay and about NT$1,600 in their pension.

Civil servants’ salaries are composed of a basic pay, seniority pay and a professional allowance.

If approved by lawmakers, the proposed salary hike would benefit 30,000 people within the first three years of its implementation — including 28,000 within the first year — with the number expected to gradually rise to 66,000, Yeh said.

Applicable to fourth-tier personnel, the proposal favors entry-level police officers, firefighters and coast guard personnel, who account for more than 80 percent of staff in the three professions, he said.

That would also translate to an increase of NT$1,600 in their pensions, allowing them to receive an additional NT$19,000 each year in their retirement, he said.

The proposed salary hike would add about NT$700 million to the government’s annual expenditure — a reasonable cost compared with other options the Ministry of the Interior had considered, Yeh said, adding that Premier William Lai (賴清德) had expressed his support for funding the wage hike.

Asked if the proposed raise could be passed in an upcoming extraordinary legislative session this summer, Yeh said that the proposal has gained wide support among lawmakers across party lines and the ministry is optimistic that the Legislative Yuan would approve it soon.

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