Calling for reform, the Taiwan Police Union and New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) yesterday urged the National Police Agency to more clearly define the “special circumstances” under which police officers are required to work overtime.
Union member Shih Chia-cheng (施嘉承) on June 15 filed a complaint with the Civil Service Protection and Training Commission, demanding that the government stop abusing a provision in the Police Duty Act (警察勤務條例) that allows police to work more than eight hours “when necessary.”
While the complaint is still being processed by the commission, New Taipei City’s Sijhih Precinct on June 19 suddenly changed Shih’s duty roster, reducing his daily work hours to eight, while his colleagues were still working about 12 hours a day, he said.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
At a news conference in Taipei yesterday, Shih asked the precinct to explain why it had adjusted his roster, but not his colleagues’, and urged the agency to overhaul the system, which he said routinely overworks police officers across the nation.
On June 14, police officer Hsu Wen-fu (許文福) committed suicide after his request to take time off was rejected and two officers he personally knew died from heart attacks, but their deaths have not motivated the government to promote change, Shih said.
“The agency should issue an official document defining the circumstances that can be considered ‘necessary’ to require police officers to work overtime,” he said.
Police agencies should also obtain the consent of officers before assigning them to work overtime, he said, adding that it is a right that regular workers have.
It is difficult for police officers in non-managerial positions to receive any support when they are mistreated, union member Kuo Li-hsuan (郭歷軒) said.
“The commission and agency only handle complaints from individuals and our supervisors typically just tell us to follow orders. This needs to change,” he said, adding that Shih’s decision to file the complaint was supported by the entire union.
Precinct deputy head Lee Wen-tung (李文桐) said that the precinct decided to reduce Shih’s daily work hours after seeing a doctor’s note he had posted on Facebook, which showed that he had certain health conditions.
The precinct would consider reducing the work hours of other officers if they applied individually, but it cannot automatically change everyone’s roster unless the agency announces a change of policy, he added.
Working overtime is common, because the nation is short 4,000 officers and large numbers of workers are required to maintain order and safety, agency representative Ko ting-tsan (柯訂讚) said, adding that Shih and Kuo cannot speak for all officers.
If the agency is uncertain about how many officers agree with the union’s view on work hours, it should conduct a survey to find out, Huang said
It should also provide a formal document defining the circumstances under which officers must work overtime, he said.
It should also provide statistics on the percentage of officers who regularly work 12 hours a day and set down a plan and timetable for reducing their work hours, he added.
Agency representatives agreed to Huang’s requests and said they would have a report ready in a month.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
TIME FOR CHANGE: Most of those at a public hearing organized by the DPP’s Chung Chia-pin also agreed that the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan should be abolished Taiwan needs a new constitution, as the current one was adopted in Nanjing in 1946, when the Republic of China (ROC) represented all of China, while the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan should be abolished, legal experts and academics said yesterday during a public hearing at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Chang Kun-sheng (張錕盛), a law professor and secretary-general of the Taiwan Administrative Law Association, said that it is time to draft a new constitution. The ROC Constitution was adopted during a National Constituent Assembly meeting in Nanjing shortly after World War II and before the Chinese Civil War had fully erupted,
The COVID-19 pandemic might not have originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, China, National Taiwan University College of Public Health professor Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. While many countries are experiencing second waves of COVID-19 infections, many are also lifting lockdowns to revive their economies, allowing travelers to cross national borders, Chen said. Academics have been questioning whether genetic mutations in the novel coronavirus in different countries have made it more infectious, he added. Academics from different backgrounds have conducted phylogenetic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences, he said, adding that the studies can help scientists understand how the virus spread among