Salary Reform: Ensuring Quality of Life and Rights for Workers

09/11/2023 06:35 AM

Continuing its 6th session program on November 1st, the National Assembly discussed in the chamber the assessment of the 2023 socio-economic development plan and the anticipated plan for 2024, which notably includes salary reforms.

Addressing the assembly, delegate Pham Trong Nghia from the Lang Son province proposed that the Government direct the National Salary Council to negotiate early to increase the minimum wage for workers, ensuring implementation from July 1, 2024, coinciding with the public sector's salary reform. Delegate Ha Anh Phuong from the Phu Tho province expressed agreement with the Government's report and the evaluation on the implementation of the 2023 socio-economic development plan and the proposed 2024 plan.

In terms of education and training, opinions were shared regarding the effectiveness of the 2018 general education program in meeting the requirements set forth in National Assembly Resolution 88.

Pham Trong Nghia, Delegate of the Lang Son province. Photo: Quochoi

The development of training programs for educators and educational management staff has met the demands of implementing the new general education curriculum. Recruitment efforts for preschool and general education teachers across provinces and cities in the past academic year have gradually addressed the issues of surplus and shortage of teachers in localities, especially in challenging regions. The competencies of university educators have continually improved in terms of both quantity and quality at various educational institutions.

Delegate Ha Anh Phuong, National Assembly Delegation of Phu Tho province.

As part of the salary policy reform plan currently under consideration by the National Assembly in this session to be implemented from July 1, 2024, the new salary policy comprises 5 salary scales: 1 scale for positions and leadership titles within the political system (including public service units) from central to commune level; 1 scale for specialized and professional positions for officials not holding leadership positions; and 3 scales for the armed forces.

Minister of Home Affairs Pham Thi Thanh Tra stated that with the implementation of the salary reform, the 5 new salary scales will replace the current coefficient-based salary scale existing since 2004. Thus, the new salary scale system is built according to job positions and leadership titles, eliminating all specialized salary policy mechanisms.

The Minister of Home Affairs noted that through review, 36 agencies and units from some sectors no longer receive special salary policies. In fact, if a flat salary scale is established, some agencies might experience up to a 50% reduction in salaries.

Currently, individuals not affiliated with administrative state management agencies are following a specific financial regime, special income (additional salaries apart from the general regime), including the armed forces and officials in public service units without financial autonomy, all experiencing higher new salaries and allowances compared to before the salary reform.

Minister of Home Affairs Pham Thi Thanh Tra delivered a speech.

Besides, approximately 134,284 officers and civil servants in administrative state management agencies are under a financial regime, special income (additional salaries from 0.66 to 2.43 times), accounting for about 6.78% of the total staff, and they may receive lower new salaries (including allowances) compared to before the reform.

According to Resolution No. 1/2021 of the National Assembly Standing Committee, agencies and units under administrative state management using quota-based or special income financial regimes, when implementing salary reform, must apply a unified salary, allowance, and income policy; nullify all mechanisms and policies regarding special salary and income.

Therefore, when reforming salaries, these cases must still be transferred to the new salary scale. And when eliminating special salary and income policies, implementing salary reform from July 1, 2024, the new salaries, including allowances, for these officers and civil servants may be lower than before the salary reform.

However, Resolution No. 27 also emphasizes the principle of 'transferring old salary to new salary, ensuring no lower than the current salary enjoyed'.

Hence, the Government has proposed that if the basic salary plus new allowances are lower than the current received salary (including additional salary), prior to the salary reform, they will receive a reserved salary differential. This differential reserve amount will reduce correspondingly when adjusting the new salary annually.

Moreover, alongside the salary policy reform for officers, civil servants, and officials, it's essential to review and improve retirement pensions to ensure fairness, avoiding excessively low pension amounts that don’t align with the current reality./.