KOGA Says! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
Statement on National Personnel Authority's Annual Remuneration Recommendations
08 August 2006
RENGO’s Statement by General Secretary Koga
- The National Personnel Authority advised the Diet and Cabinet on August 8th regarding the remuneration of national public employees. In its report the National Personnel Authority recommended that monthly remuneration rates as well as "bonus" (4.45 month’s remuneration) should be left unchanged at that of last year.
While salaries in the private sector are generally picking up according to findings from RENGO surveys and the Monthly Labour Survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, we find that the National Personnel Authority's recommendations are suppressive.
- One reason the National Personnel Authority refrained from revising salary levels was that they revised the method by which salaries in the public and private sectors were compared. (They changed the size of private companies under comparison from those employing 100 or more workers to those with 50 or more employees.) The former method of comparing salaries was based on a social framework that was agreed upon at the 1964 "Oota and Ikeda Summit."*
- The National Personnel Authority unilaterally conducted this change neglecting such an important process and failing to provide sufficient explanation and discussion to RENGO and the affected unions concerned. This is entirely unacceptable for it shakes the foundation of the National Personnel Authority recommendation system as a compensatory measure for the restriction of fundamental labor rights. We can also see that the National Personnel Authority was aware of the central government’s policy to "reduce the gross personnel cost of public workers" which means that the National Personnel Authority has cast off its role as a politically neutral third-party. Furthermore, if the National Personnel Authority recommendation system does not fulfill its basic functions of "compensation "and "neutrality" to the public workers whose basic labor rights are restricted and are allowed to make unilateral change like this, then it might trigger a collapse in the social consensus over government workers remuneration and necessitate that we reconstruct the system again.
- Discussions will begin in earnest led by a "Special Task Force"(provisional translation) inaugurated by the new Headquarters for Administrative Reform on the proper state of public services and basic labor rights under such public services, the proper state of wage/labor conditions decision system for public workers, and so on. As RENGO will be joining the task force, it will conduct aggressive discussions on such topics as the function of the National Personnel Authority as well as the proper state of recommendations.
Also, RENGO will confront the government/ruling parties' "structural reform line" through these activities and furthermore promote activities to establish safety and security of people's lives and correct social disparities by tackling the activities for radical reform of the public personnel system including basic labor rights issues, a movement to create high-quality public services, and reform of labor-management relations in public services.
*Note: Former Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda and SOHYO (General Council of Trade Unions of Japan) President Kaoru Ota agreed on rules for deciding salaries for public sector workers at the discussions in 1964.