Wednesday September 26, 2012
Figures just don’t add up
By VANES DEVINDRAN
KUCHING: Anomalies in the salary schedule for the medical and health services sector are causing some confusion among its staff here.
Apparently, an assistant nurse has a much higher ceiling salary than a public health assistant despite the latter being two grades higher on the salary schedule.
The schedule implemented this year following a review to increase the pay of civil servants, shows that staff of higher grade are drawing less then those from the lower grade.
On one part of the schedule, it shows that the ceiling salary for those who are in the U17 grade (level one) is RM2,028.67.
However, the ceiling salary of those in the lower grade of U11 (level one) is RM2,076.19, which is higher.
The same also applies for level two and three of both salary grades whereby the ceiling salaries for U17 grade are RM2,139.89 (level two) and RM2,256.06 (level three) whereas for U11, it is RM2,177.63 (level two) and RM2,280.91 (level three).
Those in U14 grade and U12 are also found to be drawing higher ceiling salary than those in the U17 grade.
Even those in the U22 grade are affected as their ceiling salary at level one is RM2,351.19, which is lower than their counterparts on the U19 grade who gets RM2,560.18.
U11 is the salary grade for assistant nurses, followed by U14 for hospital attendants, U17 for public health assistants, U19 for community nurses and U22 for senior public health assistants.
A check on the schedule revealed more anomalies even in the base sa-lary amount between the different grades.
A group of civil servants highlighted the matter to The Star as they found it most peculiar.
Wishing to be anonymous, they said they even brought the matter up to the Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public and Civil Services (Cuepacs) in Kuala Lumpur but have yet to receive any response.
“We cannot bring it up to our bosses as it would reflect badly on us if we did. Furthermore, there wasn’t much they can do about it as the sa-lary schedule is fixed by the Federal side, which means even our counterparts in the peninsula and Sabah are affected by it,” said a representative of the group.
He said if this was the case, then even the regional allowances for those serving in Sarawak and Sabah would be affected.
This was because, he said, the percentage which made for the regional allowances was based on the salary received by the civil ser-vants.
As such, he explained that if in fact the salary itself was wrongly adjusted in this new schedule, then the calculation for the regional allowances would also be wrong.
“We want to find out if there is a mistake in the schedule because the figures just don’t add up. But if it is correct, then we want to know how it came to this. What is the justification for these anomalies?
“Right now we are in the dark asking ourselves if the schedule is correct in the first place,” he added.
When contacted yesterday, Union for Medical Assistants Sarawak president Sardini Elam said he was aware of the matter.
“We have not initiated any action yet because I will be discussing this with the other union branches from the peninsula and Sabah this Friday.
“From there, we will see what’s the next step to take,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cuepacs Sarawak chairman Cecilia Yong said that this affected group of civil servants ought to approach her on the matter so she could investigate.
“I don’t see any reason why they did not take up the matter with us here in the state. I would advise them to get in touch with Cuepacs Sarawak and we shall see where to proceed from there,” she added.