Civil service salaries have always been a hot topic and a recent publication of salary and welfare benefits in nearly 100 central government departments and organizations has done nothing to cool it down.
The publication shows that 82 central government departments and organizations spent 96 billion yuan on salaries and benefits in 2014. Moreover, allowances and subsidies exceeded the amount spent on salaries last year.
Some people cast doubt on the welfare payments while others raised complaints about the low salaries which have not been increased for nearly a decade, indicating that there is an urgent need to establish a well-recognized and credible salary system.
The current salary of civil servants includes a basic salary, allowances and subsidies. There is a unified standard for the basic salary in all central government departments and organizations, but problems arise as allowances and subsidies vary greatly among departments and organizations.
One of the measures proposed to reform the current salary system is to move part of the allowances and subsidies into the basic salary, narrowing the salary gap among departments and organizations.
Another step is to establish a pay rate with a stable growth mechanism which undergoes regular adjustment in accordance with the economic and social development.
As reforms in many fields are underway to create a better economic and social environment, reforming civil service salaries will be necessary. To do that, a well-recognized and credible salary system seems indispensable.