Abolish contract system for support service workers in public premises

By:

Danial Hakeem

Affiliations:

Jaringan Pekerja Kontrak Kerajaan

Policy Code:

3h Labour

Problem Statement:

The contract system for support services (eg cleaners & guards) in public premises (eg schools & hospitals) benefits nobody but the contractors. The workers condition since the outsourcing has been deteriorating, losing benefits and basic labor rights such as annual increment & job security, as they're employed by private entities with turnover every 3 years. They also receive no medical leave & no annual leave, or they pay the replacer themselves. Malpractices are rampant across the country, employers did not contribute to their KWSP & SOCSO, overtime rate not paid adequately, unlawful wage cuts, hiring workers exceeding retiree age, among others. The pandemic exposed this broken system further, with them not even recognized as front-liners, but received heavier work load, and was not provided masks & gloves adequately. Current system also favors cronies & used to award political loyalty. Procurement process is non-transparent with no accountability. Dependence on contractors are manufactured in the name of cost-saving, efficiency & service quality upgrade.

Value(s) and Belief(s):

The workers are the one who earned wealth and must enjoy the full benefits of government funding allocated for their services. Minor administration work usually done by contractors can be done by school/hospital administrative department. The dependence on contractors are manufactured in the name of cost-saving & efficiency, austerity measures which benefits the few rather than the many.

Proposal of Solution:

The full absorption of support service workers in public premises as full time government employee. Direct employment will guarantee these workers rights and benefits as enjoyed by other employees who were already employed directly in these premises like doctors & teachers. In case of reforms, during the procurement process; such as banning subcontracting, regulating the appointment of procurement board members. Legal reforms; removing secrecy laws, include external party as monitors. Operational reforms; such as blacklisting contractors who violates workers rights, including special clause of cancellation taking bond money from contractors as security money for workers. And most importantly, workers right reforms, as stated in the employment act, and to be adequately protected during the pandemic with vaccination priority, proper PPE and frontliners' allowance.

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