PSC explains fate of 'redundant' civil servants

Civil servants who were affected by the ongoing restructuring in public service will continue getting their salaries pending redeployment.
Local government leaders at a meeting at the Prime Minister’s office last month. (T. Kisambira)
Local government leaders at a meeting at the Prime Minister’s office last month. (T. Kisambira)

Civil servants who were affected by the ongoing restructuring in public service will continue getting their salaries pending redeployment.

Angelina Muganza, the executive secretary of Public Service Commission (PSC), said the payment will be covered under the 2013 Law Establishing the General Statutes For Public Service.

Article 41 of the law states that a suspended public servant will be entitled to a full salary for the first three months and two-thirds of the salary for the next three months.

Muganza made the remarks following reports that a total of 351 civil servants were found to be ‘redundant’ during the restructuring and needed to be redeployed.

“When the six months expire before one finds another job in public service, they will automatically be removed from public service and will receive termination benefits in accordance with the law,” Muganza told The New Times.

The least terminal benefits will go to discontinued public servants with at least a year of experience but less than five years, amounting to one-month salary, according to the law.

The highest benefits will be six months salary for public servants with at least 25 years of experience.

Those who were found redundant were provisionally suspended as government seeks to redeploy them where their skills and experience is required, according to government sources.

The restructuring exercise was commissioned by the Ministry of Public Service and Labour two years ago to evaluate shortcomings in public service delivery.

Getting new placements

Fifty-five out of 62 public institutions have completed the restructuring exercise. But the Minister for Public Service and Labour, Judith Uwizeye, assured that all affected civil servants will get new posts.

Redeployment has so far benefited 197 of the affected workers, while government reassured that almost all the remaining 154 staff will also be redeployed soon.

“These staff are eligible to be redeployed in any existing position or one of the 438 new positions that have been created in the central government as part of the restructuring,” Uwizeye said.

“The government is nearing the completion of reforms that aim to build a more effective and efficient public service, strengthen accountable governance and improve service delivery to citizens.”

A statement from the ministry earlier this week stated that civil servants with consistently good performance, required job profile, and whose job position remained on their institution’s new structure, maintained their posts.

New jobs created

Uwizeye said in the unlikely event that a public servant does not have the required job profile to be redeployed, they are eligible to apply for one of the 2,000 new jobs that were created at local government level.

“Central government staff who were made redundant will be given priority for these positions.

Those not successful in finding placement will be entitled to the standard benefits,” she said.

“The reforms we are undertaking are aimed at increasing accountability of the public service.

They will ensure that government policies and programmes to improve the lives of all Rwandans are implemented in an efficient and effective manner.”

However, labour unions warn that the rights of civil servants must be guarded during the restructuring.

“Restructuring is key. However, public servants apply for these jobs and get them, so in the event that they are redeployed elsewhere, it must be with their consent. It would be wrong if they are offered jobs they cannot handle and later, be victims in another restructuring,” Eric Manzi, the secretary-general of Cestrar, a workers’ union, told The New Times.

Between 2005 and 2006, government carried out reforms that affected 5,185 civil servants. However, the reforms scored by reducing bureaucracy and improving the capacity of local government, statistics from the Ministry of Public Service and Labour show.

Civil servants whose contracts were terminated then were aided by government to study or to join cooperatives.

The government targets to create 200,000 jobs each year and has set aside Rwf14 billion for the year 2014/2015 for this purpose.