National Personnel Authority Proposes 0.23% Pay Cut for Japanese National Public Servants; Government Proposes 7.8% Cut; NPA and LDP Call Gov’t Plan Unconstitutional

National Personnel Authority Proposes 0.23% Pay Cut for Japanese National Public Servants; Government Proposes 7.8% Cut; NPA and LDP Call Gov’t Plan Unconstitutional
Yomiuri Shimbun: 公務員給与削減に自民反発…人勧見送り「違憲」
October 26, 2011

On the 25th, the National Personnel Authority set its fiscal policy recomendations for 2011, which include decreasing public employees’ average salaries by 0.23%.

In order to secure funding for the Great Tōhoku Earthquake recovery effort, a proposal to cut the average national public servant’s salary by 7.8% has been given priority for the current Diet session, but the opposition Liberal Democratic Party sees the recommendation as problematic, so its passage is not expected.

On the night of the 25th, Prime Minister Noda met Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujimura, Minister of Internal Affairs and Comunications Minister Kawabata, and Democratic Party of Japan Policy Chief Maehara at Noda’s official residence. They agreed to pursue a swift ratification of the salary decrease plan.

According to this revision, by the end of fiscal 2013, national public servants’ monthly salaries would decrease by 10%, 8%, or 5% in comparison to the current plan. Including cuts in bonuses, ¥290 billion in personnel costs would be saved. The plan was proposed at the last Diet session and is still being deliberated in the Lower House.

Regardless, on the recommendation of the National Personnel Authority, the average national public servant’s salary would decrease 0.23%, saving an estimated ¥12 billion in fiscal 2011. Because the volume of salary reductions in the government plan is much greater than that, “passing the government plan would be in keeping with the spirit of the National Personal Authority’s recommendation” (in the words of the Internal Affairs and Comunications leadership) so it would be unnecessary to carry out the latter plan as well.

According to the National Personal Authority, however, since the goverment requests recommendations from the National Personnel Authority out of respect for labor and as a substitute for collective bargaining (Japan’s national public servants are restricted by law from bargaining with the government over their salaries), ignoring the NPA’s recommendations would be “constitutionally problematic.” Liberal Democratic Party Chief Secretary Ishihara is also critical, saying “in a sense, it’s unconstitutional. The argument that the salary reduction follows the NPA’s recommendation doesn’t hold up.”

Gov't Public Employee Salary Cut Proposal

Outline of Salary Reduction-Related Proposals for National Public Servants
Government Salary Reduction Plan
In order to secure funds for the Great Tōhoku Earthquake Recovery, decrease the monthly salary of national public servants by an average of 7.8%: 10% for department and office heads, 8% for assistants to department heads and subsection chiefs, and 5% for regular staff. Cut bonuses by 10%.

National Public Servant System
In order to establish a self-regulating relationship with labor, expand the rights in the basic labor law. This would include granting national public servants the right to conclude their own contracts, abolishing the National Personnel Authority and its recommendation system, and establishing a Public Servants’ Agency to lead collective bargaining over these servants’ wages. This proposal would be passed in tandem with the salary reduction above.

National Personnel Authority Recommendation
In order to correlate national public servants’ salaries with those of the general population, decrease the former’s salary by an average of 0.23%, or ¥15,000 ($200) per person, by reducing salaries for those in their 50s by 0.5% and for those in their 40s by 0.4%. Salaries for those in their 30s or below would not be changed. Bonuses would remain as they are. The government would have to carry this recommendation out.

Original/原稿:
公務員給与削減に自民反発…人勧見送り「違憲」

政府は25日、国家公務員給与を平均0・23%引き下げるとした2011年度人事院勧告(人勧)の実施見送りを決めた。

東日本大震災の復興財源を確保するため、国家公務員給与を平均7・8%減らす給与削減法案の今国会成立を優先させたものだが、自民党は人勧見送りを問題視しており、同法案の成立の見通しは付いていない。

野田首相は25日夜、首相官邸で藤村官房長官、川端総務相、民主党の前原政調会長と会談し、給与削減法案を早期に成立させる方針で一致した。

給与削減法案は、国家公務員の現行の俸給表を据え置いたまま、13年度末まで俸給月額(基本給)を職責に応じて、10%、8%、5%削減する内容だ。ボーナスの減額分と合わせ、年間2900億円の人件費削減につながる。先の通常国会に提出され、衆院で継続審議となっている。

一方、人勧は俸給表を改定して平均年収を0・23%引き下げるもので、11年度は120億円の人件費削減を見込んでいる。政府は今回、給与削減法案が減額幅で人勧水準を大きく上回っていることなどを踏まえ、「削減法案が成立すれば人勧の趣旨は生きる」(総務省幹部)とし、人勧実施の必要はないと判断した。

ただ、国家公務員は労働基本権が制約され、給与水準を政府側との交渉で決めることができない。政府は人勧を労使交渉に代わる措置として尊重してきたため、人事院は「無視するのは憲法上問題だ」と主張している。自民党の石原幹事長も「ある意味、憲法違反だ。(削減法案が)人勧を含むという見解は通らない」と批判した。

(2011年10月26日10時00分 読売新聞)

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