Pay hike and public service

Nothing will get a civil servant as worked up as a pay commission report. With their dominance of the social media and their consumption of the media, their voices will be heard, loud and clear.

Back this up with the fact that they form a sizeable and influential voting block, any political party will not want to displease them.

However, it is important to remember that we do not forget the purpose of such a hike by getting caught up in the means of  such a hike.

Civil servants can argue till the cows come home about the fairness of the percentage of the hikes and who should get more or less.

However, the fact remains that they are getting a sizeable hike when the basic pay raise, house rent allowance linked to the new basic pay, provident fund increase and performance based incentive are added up.

One purpose of the hike is to beat inflation and its does that quite comfortably. However, what this will mean to a weak but large private sector that cannot afford to beat inflation is an issue no civil servant or politician will want to talk about.

A new performance based incentive has been introduced by the Commission on the directions of the government with the aim of improving performance. Civil servants have every right to question and debate on how this can be improved or if it can be implemented at all.

However, what is a matter of concern is there is very little debate among civil servants on how they can improve their efficiency and productivity and how they can serve the public better- which is why they are there in the first place.

The mindset of the civil service has to change from being ‘Dashoed’ to a more service oriented one.

The pay rise is going to have an enormous budgetary impact on a still very poor country, where most citizens will not benefit from it, but they do expect better service.

It is important for all public servants from ministers to civil servants to remember that.

Public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation.
Margaret Chase Smith

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