Tuesday, February 8, 2011

CUEPACS Asking For Minimum Wage

Though I’m in two minds about the implementation of a Malaysian minimum wage, government workers union CUEPACS has a point:

Cuepacs wants minimum wage policy for civil servants

KUALA LUMPUR: Cuepacs has called on the Government to implement a minimum wage policy in the civil service to help civil servants cope with the rising cost of living.

Its president Datuk Omar Osman said at the moment, the salary received by those in the support group was below the poverty line of RM720 a month.

"Those in Grade 1 to Grade 16 in the Support Group II are starting at RM647 per month, which is below the poverty line. The basic salary should be at least RM850 or RM920 a month," he told reporters after attending an integrity workshop for the Peninsular Malaysia road transport union here Monday.

He added that a low salary would affect productivity, especially among those who had to find part-time jobs to make ends meet...

It’s a little hard on the government’s poverty-fighting credentials (not to mention high income aspirations), if it doesn’t even pay its own staff wages above the poverty line. And there’s a good argument for tacking on allowance for those working in major urban areas.

Technically speaking though, what CUEPACS is asking for isn’t a minimum wage per se (which is legally enforceable on all), more a salary adjustment for the civil service alone.

Would an increase in pay affect productivity? I’m not sure – it depends on how many are earning the minimum pay, and what they have to do to supplement it. There’s also the element of payment in kind e.g. use of government quarters, which would somewhat offset the need for a pay hike, as well as the impact a salary adjustment would have on the government’s budget.

But this certainly bears discussion.


  1. I definitely can support a call for efficient wage, in a way that higher wage gives workers incentive to shirk less and work more because the opportunity cost of losing the job becomes higher. It's typical micro thinking.

    But, before that happens, I think number of employees within the government must be reduced. If indeed increase in wages increases productivity, surely someone will be made redundant.

  2. Agreed.

    "But, before that happens, I think number of employees within the government must be reduced."

    LOL, that's probably a 10 standard deviation event. "Privatisation" of functions is more likely, with staff following the hived off functions e.g. along the lines of POS Malaysia. It reduces the official headcount without the political fallout. That way any redundancies are because of "evil"
    corporate types.

  3. pay rise in government sector, sholud reduce staff in the government. the seniour staff should be given some incentive extra payment; so that they will ask for retirement. seniour staff in the government mostly with high debts with banks. the seniour staff only receive straight line salary with allowances from the beginning.

  4. seniour staff without allowances from the beginning..............

  5. the seniour government servant should be given incentive i.e. extra payment, so that they will go for retirement early.

  6. grade N22 (chief clerk) in the government is not given any incentive till now. other grade such as NT 17 and NT 22 was given up grade to NT 27 and NT 32. This jump was done automatic and unfair for other grade such as grade N22.
    What is JPA doing?