Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thousands of government employees in Vietnam quit jobs

17:17' 15/07/2008 (GMT+7)

At a State agency in HCM City

VietNamNet Bridge – Nearly 6,500 government staff in HCM City have quit their jobs since mid 2003 and this phenomenon may become a movement in the biggest city of Vietnam.

Low salaries?

Since late 2007, Nguyen Cu Trinh ward, District 1, HCM City has lost its Party Secretary, two Vice Party Secretaries, the Chairman of the People’s Council, the Chairman of the People’s Committee, two Vice Chairmen of the People’s Committee, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Women’s Union chapter.

This ward is still missing a Chairman of the People’s Council, one Vice Party Secretary, on Vice Chairman of the Women’s Union chapter and one Vice Chairman of the Red Cross chapter.

It was shocking news when Deputy Director of the HCM City Department of Planning and Investment Luong Van Ly quit his job to open his own company last year. However, by mid June 2008, HCM City had also lost the Deputy Director of the Department of Trade, Le Van Cong, and the Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism, Le Nhut Tan.

The city’s authorities have recently reported the worrying trend to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Of the 6,500 to have quit their jobs since the middle of 2003, 698 belonged to state management agencies, 3,034 to the education and 849 to the health care sectors.

The HCM City Department of Health lost 576 employees in the period, the Department of Education and Training 288, the Department of Transportation 247.

The people who quit their jobs included high-ranking officials, experienced experts, etc.

The East-West project management unit, the HCM City Hi-tech Park management board and the Department of Trade have lost over 20 qualified engineers and chiefs of divisions.

In its report to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the HCM City People’s Committee wrote that the major reason is the inappropriate salary policy.

HCM City’s Vice Chairman Nguyen Thanh Tai said officials of communes and wards are not paid properly and the average income of government staffs in general is lower than in the labour market.

A Deputy Director of a department in HCM City was paid VND5 million per month. He now works for a foreign investment fund and earns around $4,000 per month.

The Chairman of a large ward in District 1, HCM City, said his total income is VND2.5 million per month while his university classmates bring in over $500/month.

Former Deputy Director of the HCM City Department of Planning and Investment Luong Van Ly affirmed his salary couldn’t support his family. However, that wasn’t the major reason for Ly’s departure.

Discouraging working environment?

In his resignation, former Deputy Director of the Department of Tourism Le Nhut Tan said the working environment was not suitable for him, and this is the opinion of many other government employees who have quit their jobs.

“In my department and others the number of staff is very large but few of them really devote themselves to their jobs. Anyone who desires to put everything in order and struggles against negative things is seen as showing off,” said a former head of a state division.

Le Hieu Dang, Vice Chairman of the HCM City Fatherland Front, said perhaps income is not the major reason, but the working environment.

One other prominent reason for this situation is that people are changing their minds. They no longer think working for state agencies is more stable and better than working for others. Many young government staff say that one can still contribute to the state if one works for private companies.

The HCM City Fatherland Front is compiling a recommendation about the wave of job-quitting among state employees and proposing that the local government adjust the salary policy and improve the working environment at state agencies.

The HCM City People’s Committee has been aware of this matter for a year but it hasn’t come up with an effective remedy yet.

HCM City’s Chairman Le Hoang Quan said authorities know but they can’t intervene because of the tight mechanism. The city has asked the government to speed up the salary reform scheme.

(Source: TP)