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.








(2011年10月26日10時00分 読売新聞)

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