Natalia Alyushyna, Head of the National Agency of Ukraine for Civil Service
A few days ago, a petition to the head of state to establish fair wages for civil servants collected 25,000 votes. I consider this event significant. Since the salary of a civil servant is a marker of citizens' respect for the state.
I admit that the institution of public service has a low social weight in Ukraine. Because of this, we are losing high-quality personnel and a resource for development. Therefore, it is important to change both the institution itself and the attitude of people towards it. I believe that public service, despite all its imperfections, is underestimated by society.
For several years, this institution has changed more noticeably than the idea of it. The reason is the numerous stereotypes. For example, there is an idea of the dominance of "nepotism" there. Given that this sector is the most transparent on the market. Any position there can be obtained only through a public competition.
The lack of trust alienates potential employees from the public sector. While it largely meets the expectations of many community groups. This is confirmed by an online survey of the National Agency of Ukraine for Civil Service among civil servants. We analyzed more than 20 thousand questionnaires to find out the factors confirming important transformations.
It turned out that 74% of respondents believe that specialists in their government agencies are selected based on professional competencies. 70.5% called the organizational culture of their department favorable. This figure has grown by more than 10% over the year. 68% feel protected from illegal or unethical directives.
TOP-5 values of public service, as shown by the survey, are responsibility, virtue, professionalism, teamwork, efficiency. I am sure that such values are acceptable to a significant part of society. Therefore, we want to acquaint the country with them by increasing the social weight of public service.
The key issue hindering its development is the humiliating level of salaries. All previous governments followed in the wake of public opinion, which is accustomed to seeing an official as a bribe-taker and a bureaucrat. The criticality of the salary case reflects sociology. 93% of civil servants are completely or partially dissatisfied with the level of their remuneration.
Indeed, this system is unbalanced. The salary of some categories of civil servants is less than the minimum wage. For example, the official salary of a regional state administration does not reach 5,000 hryvnias. We are talking about the state-guaranteed part of the payment. The rest is at the discretion of the manager. I was specifically interested in salaries in the municipal services of Kiev. So the janitor, on condition of working out, is paid twice or three times more. This is unfair, since the state sets much higher requirements for a civil servant.
The difference in the salaries of civil servants in different bodies, which amounts to tens of thousands of hryvnias, is also unfair. I emphasize that we are talking about the same positions and functionality. The reason is the lack of a legal mechanism for planning and distributing the wage fund.
Therefore, NADS is promoting the reform of the wage system. It is supported by 90% of the civil servants. First of all, we need to balance the components of the salary. Today, the guaranteed official salary in its structure is only 30%. The rest is additional payments provided by the decision of the head. These are conditions for injustice and corruption.
We offer a model that provides for a stable part - 70% and additional payments at the level of 30%. This removes the possibility of manipulation. We have already developed a classification methodology and a catalog of positions. This is a condition for the calculation of fair salaries based on job classification.
We will update the level of salaries, bringing it closer to remuneration for standard positions in the private sector. It is important to establish market benchmarks in wages in the civil service. The level of state salaries can become market due to the accompanying advantages. Among them - stability, predictability, the possibility of professional growth.
I know about the concerns of some colleagues. Many, for various reasons, are satisfied with the current situation. But the state cannot be unfair in relation to its employees. It sets high qualification requirements for them, limits additional earnings, but offers unacceptable wages. By this, it humiliates the managers representing its interests.
Markers of the new model are provided in the edition of the relevant bill. We plan to complete the calculations for the classification of all positions by June 1, 2022. From 2023, the model should be introduced in all government bodies. I consider the reform of wages for civil servants is inevitable.