KOGA Says! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary

KOGA Says!
Cabinet's Endorsement of a Bill to Reform National Public Service Personnel System

04 April 2008
RENGO’s Statement by General Secretary Koga
  1. The Japanese Government endorsed a bill to reform the public service personnel system at its Cabinet meeting held today on April 4, 2008. The bill has been formulated on the basis of former two Cabinet endorsements made on “The Reform of Public Service Personnel System” (on April 24, 2007) and “2007 Basic Policy for Economic and Financial Reforms” (on June 19, 2007). The bill, however, does not meet the level of the reforms recommended by “The Report of the Advisory Panel on Comprehensive Reforms of Public Service Personnel System” (hereafter “The Report of the Advisory Panel”) which was submitted to Prime Minister Fukuda on February 5, 2008. We have to express our extreme dissatisfaction with the bill.
  2. To be more concrete, it is stated in the bill that “how the basic trade union rights of the public employees should be will be examined taking into consideration that it is necessary and essential to present to the people overall perspective including the advantage and cost accompanying the extension of the scope of the public employees to be vested the right to conclude collective agreements, in order to obtain their understanding on it”. In the Cabinet’s decision last year, it was clearly stated that “the basic trade union rights of the public employees will be reviewed in the direction of a reform”, but the bill requires the Government only to examine them. Moreover, any reference is not made on the establishment of a responsible agency as an employer which had been advocated by RENGO for a long time. These are not acceptable, because these are not in accordance with “The Report of the Special Examination Committee of the Headquarters for the Promotion of Administrative Reforms” (hereafter “The Report of the Special Examination Committee”) which stated that the right to conclude collective agreements will be newly granted to a certain type of clerical employees in the public service” nor in accordance with “The Report of the Advisory Panel” which clearly stated that the Panel “respects” the contents of “the Report of Special Examination Committee”. Moreover, these are unacceptable, because RENGO has filed a complaint to the ILO against the Japanese Government on the issue of the basic trade union rights of the public employees.
  3. “The Advisory Panel”, on the one hand, had proposed, in its Report, abolishing the existing promotion system for career bureaucrats and creating a Cabinet agency fully in charge of public personnel affairs – currently managed by each ministry and agency. On the other hand, the bill is problematic as the ideal of reforms has become ambiguous in terms of the following points: 1) although the 1st category of the examination is abolished, the existing promotion system for career bureaucrats will be kept unchanged depending upon how the examination of the general managerial employees and the process of bringing up managerial candidates are operated; and 2) the general managerial employees will belong to both the envisaged Cabinet personnel agency and a ministry or an agency.
  4. After its endorsement by the Cabinet, the next stage to deal with the bill will be moved to the Diet. RENGO, together with the Democratic Party of Japan and other parties, will make every possible effort for the bill to meet at least “the Report of the Special Examination Committee” and “the Report of the Advisory Panel. At the same time, RENGO will strengthen its campaign for establishing basic trade union rights which meet the recommendations of the ILO and for realizing a democratic public service personnel system.