From the moment that the Circular No 2009/16 was published on the CSC website stating the reinstatement of salaries of civil servants effective 1st of January 2010, its the only thing anyone can talk about. I guess like everything else, most Maldivians do not have the proper information at hand to begin with, thus the surprise and glee on most of the faces of civil servants. And the funny thing is, most people mention this in terms of an increase in the salary when in fact what the CSC is doing is bringing back the salary level to its original state from the pay cuts that were enforced in October 2009.
If any of the civil servants had taken half the time to find out what the Civil Service Act which supposedly protects the right of all civil servants as a whole, they would have understood from the moment pay cuts were made that this reinstatement would take place after the three month period as mandated by the Civil Service Act.
Maldivians have the tendency to shoot off their mouths without half knowing what it is they are actually talking about. When the pay cuts were first enforced there was a lot of outrage from the general public which is quite understandable when you take into consideration how the general population especially living in Male’ barely survive on what they earn with the outrageous rents they have to pay for housing. However what I find highly disturbing is the fact that most do not even bother finding the reason why certain policies are brought about and how or what are the reasons why such a policy may have been implemented in the first place. And of course with the current crop of politicians who are divided on the minutest of issues taking things into their hands and spouting off whatever comes to mind, creates a greater rift in a society of ignorant people who do not even want to be enlightened in the first place. Of course partially this blame lies on the shoulders of the Civil Service Commission itself since they haven’t really done enough on making the public aware of what the Civil Service Act is all about.
With the opposition creating the ruckus that the positions of the upper management in the CSC are being held by wimps and are under the mastery of President Nasheed, the happily ignorant crop of civil servants acted as if a red flag had been waved in front of them, which in turn led to bad publicty all around which could could have been prevented in the first place if someone had thought of explaining what the Civil Service Act says regarding such pay cuts which amounts to something in the form of “If the country faces financial problems a pay cut could be imposed after discussions between the government and CSC for a period of three months, upon the end of which pay should be reinstated. If the need to impose pay cuts for a further period of time arises, this can only be done after re-evaluation of the financial situation of the country and further discussions between the CSC and government.” I bet if someone had explained this to the intended or if the intended had had the foresight to read the Act which protects them, the surprise everyone is expressing over the circular today could have been prevented.
Now let’s wait and see whether the government wants to impose pay cuts for a further period of time and whether the situation is deemed dire enough by the CSC to once again impose the same for another period of 3 months which I bet with everything I have no one is going to be ecstatic about with the rising costs of everyday life which has become the norm recently.