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Cuepacs wants cheaper houses, offers longer hours for civil service

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 19): Cuepacs will propose that civil servants work longer hours if the government fulfils six demands for the coming year, including forcing developers to set aside one third of their projects for cheap urban housing.

Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) president Datuk Omar Osman said that the union has sent its proposal containing the demands to the government with hopes that these will be included in the Budget 2013 announcement on Sept 28.

"We hope that the government, in particular Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, will give due consideration to our demands.

"We will be satisfied if at least 70% of the demands are met," Omar said on Wednesday after chairing the union's supreme council meeting.

The most contentious of the six demands is the one asking the government to force urban housing developers to reserve 35% of their projects to build houses costing between RM60,000 to RM150,000 for those earning below RM3,000 a month.

"It is not very productive to have employees travelling 100km from their homes every day from the outskirts of the city," said Omar.

Omar said if the demands are met, Cuepacs will propose at the national congress next month that civil servants work 30 minutes longer daily.

"If it is agreed by the members, the proposal will be forwarded to the Chief Secretary to the Government to issue a circular to that effect," he said.

The other demands are for

  • One and a half month bonus to be paid to its 1.4 million civil servants.
  • The government to revise the Cost of Living Allowance (Cola). Cuepacs wants the Fixed Housing Allowance (ITP) to be increased from RM180 "to reflect the current cost of living”.
  • A replacement to the Public Service New Remuneration Scheme (SBPA), which was scrapped in March, following an outcry on the huge disparity in salaries between the top grades and those in the lower rung of the civil service.
  • Putrajaya to provide a list of improvements to the Malaysian Remuneration System (SSM), which was reintroduced in the wake of the SBPA being scrapped.
  • The government to resolve the issues faced by 45,000 to 60,000 contract workers, whose contracts end in Dec 31 and the reinstatement of the central-level Joint Departmental Council which was abolished in May.

"These demands are not new, some are old and have to be addressed urgently as we have received too many complaints," Omar said.

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