Tuesday, October 19, 2010

PEA talks terms with government

NEGOTIATIONS start today between the Public Employees Association and the Department of Personnel Management over salary and housing allowance for public servants, The National reports.

The current three-year agreement between the government and PEA will expire at the end of this month.

According to association execution executives, PEA would push to have the housing allowances for public servants increased to K250 a fortnight starting next year.

President Michael Malabag yesterday said if the government did not have the capacity to pay that amount for all public servants, the association would then push for K250 a fortnight to be applied only to PEA’s 15,000 financial members.

Other deals the association hoped to cut with DPM included:

* Salary increases to meet current and ongoing high standard of living plus the effect of the LNG and to stop a brain-drain on the public service;

* The 35% tax on final entitlements to be lowered to 15%;

* Risk allowances for public servants on Bougainville and Rabaul; and

* The push for the delivery of quality public services.

Malabag said the other issue to be raised and penned into the agreement would be the devolution of powers and discipline which had not been effective in the past.

Department of Personnel Management secretary John Kali, in a letter to Malabag last Monday, stated that many of the issues raised could be addressed outside of the negotiations including concessional tax rates of 35%, impact of DPM powers devolution, review of general orders and penalty clauses for heads of government agencies.

Kali stated that the substance of negotiations would focus on salary and work-related allowances including housing and allowances for attraction and retention; review of redundancy provisions and re-employment of retrenched officers and isolation of retirement from the current redundancy agreement.


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