NAGUMO Speaks! RENGO's Statement by General Secretary
Cabinet Decides Bills Related to Reform of National Public Service System and Other Related Bills
03 June 2011
In response to the decision made by National Public Service System Reform Promotion Headquarters, the government decided, at its cabinet meeting held on 3 June, four bills related to the reform of national public service system, a bill on an extraordinary special exception to reduce the salary of national public employees, and other related bills.
Since its foundation, RENGO has raised the recovery of basic trade union rights of the public service employees as one of the most important issues in its policy demands and has made every effort inside and outside Japan for realizing the recovery. Repeatedly the Japanese trade union movement filed complaints against the Japanese government to the ILO in cooperation with international trade union movement, bringing out favorable successive recommendations from the ILO. The content of the measures for establishing autonomous industrial relationship decided today by the cabinet is the historical first step toward opening up a possibility for the recovery of the basic trade union rights for the public employees and is appreciated as a result of our efforts so far and of the change of political power.
The main contents of the bills related to the reform of national public service system are: 1) unitary management of personnel affairs of high-ranking officials and reform of other personnel affairs system; 2) further streamlining of retirement management; and 3) measures for autonomous labour-management relation system. As to the longstanding problem of autonomous labour-management relation system, such measures are provided as the grant of the right to conclude collective agreements to the national public employees of clerical works, abolition of the National Personnel Authority and its recommendation system and an establishment of Public Service Agency. Moreover, as to how the basic trade union rights of local public service employees should be will be decided in accordance with those of national public service employees and as to the right to organize of fire fighters, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications which is responsible for the fire-fighters matters expressed a view that, “taking a basic course of granting the right to fire-fighters, it will proceed with necessary examinations”.
However, as to the fundamental working conditions such as wages and working hours, the bill ambiguously provides in its supplementary provisions that the sphere of legislative matters and ordinance matters (the sphere of negotiation matters) will be further examined and on the basis of the examination, necessary measures will be taken. In addition, as to the right to organize of fire fighters, a clear will to grant the right as the government is not expressed, and moreover, the right to engage in labour disputes is still put under restrictions providing in the supplementary provisions that “after giving examinations, necessary measures will be taken”. In order to establish a labour-management relation system which satisfies international labour standards, further efforts should be strongly continued.
The bill to reduce the salary of the national public employees as an extraordinary special exception which was decided together with the bills related to the reform of national public service presupposes an agreement between labour and management that the bill to grant the trade union rights and the bill on an extraordinary special exception be simultaneously submitted to the Diet and be simultaneously passed by the Diet, under the Prime Minister’s opinion that “although such a measure is quite an exceptional case under the National Personnel Authority recommendation system, it presupposes to acquire the understanding of the public employees organizations in the form of taking in advance the transfer to autonomous labour-management relation system”.
Fair and equitable principles are essential for sound labour-management relations and the government and the ruling parties bear a heavy responsibility to sincerely implement the agreement reached by labour and management. RENGO demands the government to make clear the grant of the right to organize to fire fighters as early as possible. RENGO will continue to advance the efforts for establishing a democratic public service system and the basic trade union rights of public employees with all its might.