Door ‘open’ for adjusted staff to return to federal service after promotionAmid strong protests by civil servants, the government on Tuesday agreed to open the door for civil servants adjusted to provincial and local levels to return to the federal civil service through promotion.
Amid strong protests by civil servants, the government on Tuesday agreed to open the door for civil servants adjusted to provincial and local levels to return to the federal civil service through promotion.
This was one of the major demands of government officials, who have been protesting against the Civil Service Adjustment Ordinance, saying that the law barred their transfer to the federal civil service after being adjusted to the sub-national administration. A meeting held between senior officials of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and representatives of the official trade union of civil servants reached the agreement.
The development came the same day the House of Representatives endorsed the ordinance with a majority vote despite reservations from the opposition Nepali Congress.
Suresh Adhikari, spokesperson for the Federal Affairs Ministry, who was on the government’s talks team, told the Post that they agreed to allow the civil servants to return from the provincial and local services to the federal civil service through promotion.
“We agreed that a certain percentage of seats in the federal service will be filled with promotion of civil servants adjusted to the provincial and local levels,” he said.
Civil servants have been protesting against the ordinance arguing that it prevented their career growth by making promotion possible only within the provincial and local levels.
Hundreds of civil servants demonstrated against the ordinance on Monday at the call of the Nepal Civil Servants Union affiliated to the opposition party. Civil servants’ unions aligned with both the ruling and opposition parties oppose some of the provisions of the ordinance.
Although the government talks team agreed to address the demand for transfer, the Lower House passed the ordinance that denied such transfer. Adhikari argued that the ordinance does not prevent the government from broadening the scope of the Federal Civil Service Act.
During a meeting held between the two sides on December 23, Minister for Federal Affairs and General Administration Lal Babu Pandit assured that their concerns over career growth would be addressed through the Act. On December 26, however, the government registered the ordinance in Parliament without consideration for their demands.
The government also initiated the adjustment process by notifying civil servants to apply within 21 days naming their preferred posts under the three-tier public administration. Trade union leaders said they wanted the government to address their concerns in the government’s policy documents instead of verbal commitments.
On Tuesday, the two sides agreed to formalise the agreement. Officials said that the agreement may be signed on Wednesday after further discussion.
Civil servants also want early passage of the Federal Civil Service Act before the adjustment process is completed. “We want the adjustment process and introduction of laws addressing our demand to go hand in hand,” said Bhola Pokharel, vice-president of the official trade union.
The union has also demanded that civil servants adjusted to the provincial and local levels be allowed to be transferred to the federal civil service even without promotion after serving a sub-national government for five years.
The government team rejected the demand arguing that it would be against the spirit of adjustment.
According to Pokharel, the government team, however, agreed that there would be no discrimination in salary, allowance and benefit for family members, pension, retirement benefits, job security and treatment provisions between the civil servants no matter where they are adjusted.
Ministry warns action for criticism
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration on Tuesday warned action against civil servants who make “reckless” comments on social media against the minister, the secretary and the ministry.
Stating that it had maintained a record of such civil servants, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that they would face action according to the Civil Service Act, its regulations, the Good Governance (Management and Operation Act) and the regulations, and the Electronic Transaction Act.
The ministry said its attention had been drawn to the “indecent, inappropriate, irresponsible and undisciplined” comments made by some civil servants in ways to hurt the dignity of the officials and the office.