The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Wednesday announced plans to downside the organization by cutting the number of staff on its national payroll by more than 58 percent from 743 to 310.
The KMT’s Central Standing Committee decided that the number of employees at party headquarters would be cut from 134 to 80, while those at local chapters would be reduced from 609 to 230. The plan is to take effect two months from Wednesday.
The figures do not include staffers and campaigners employed personally by KMT politicians.
According to the new policy, local chapters can add workers who will be paid through funds raised locally, but the total number nationwide is to be capped at 262.
The party estimated that it would need between NT$1.5 billion and NT$1.8 billion (US$47.2 million and US$56.6 million) for severance and pension payments.
The party will compensate laid-off workers to its best ability and has filed a request with the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee to liquidate assets to raise the needed funds, KMT Vice Chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) said.
Committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang (施錦芳) issued a statement saying: “We are pleased that the KMT has shown a willingness to deal with this issue, and based on the party assets law, the KMT can submit an application together with a fiscal operations plan, which the party assets committee will review and deliberate to decide whether the KMT can transfer or process said assets.”
The party’s wage structure will also be adjusted, Chan said, with the largest cuts affecting top-level positions and little change being made to basic-level workers.
To promote a fiscally healthier organization, the KMT will seek to increase its revenues and cut its expenditures, Chan said, adding that the restructuring would address overhead expenses, while party members who are elected officials are expected to fulfil their obligation in raising funds for the party.
The Central Standing Committee has approved the fundraising quotas for all elected party officials from township mayors to county commissioners and city mayors, Chan said, adding that district legislators are to raise NT$500,000 each and legislators-at-large NT$300,000 each.
Party officials have also been assigned quotas, with the party chairperson required to raise NT$10 million, the vice chairpersons NT$10 million collectively and Central Standing Committee members NT$1 million each, he said.
Local chapter conveners are to be transformed into an unpaid elected post, Chan said, adding that a research group is to be established to draft an electoral process.
KMT Chairwoman Hung Shiu-chu (洪秀柱) called the restructuring “a necessary, but painful decision.”
Replacing paid-party positions with volunteers is a priority of her office, she said, urging all party members who hold public office to meet their fundraising quotas.
“They must understand that times are tough and this is a matter of survival. We must each do our part to ensure the party’s survival and prosperity,” she said.
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