Heavy workload, low wage cause brain drain in HCMC government agencies

HCMC now has 11,680 civil servants and officials working for administrative agencies and 120,000 people working for public service units. Many of them have quitted because of heavy workload and low payment.
Residents do administrative procedures at the People’s Committee of Hoc Mon District, HCMC (Photo: SGGP)
Residents do administrative procedures at the People’s Committee of Hoc Mon District, HCMC (Photo: SGGP)
At HCMC Social Insurance Agency, average income approximates VND6-8 million a person a month despite huge work volume and heavy pressure. For the last three years, about 200 civil servants and officials have quitted. In 2017 alone, 47 people resigned their jobs, the number has reached 26 this year.
Director of the agency Phan Van Men said that low wage and high work pressure forced many to quit.
HCMC Department of Justice has applied many solutions but failed to prevent their employees from moving to other working places. Recently, a well performing female worker suddenly quitted. Both director of the agency and head of Organization Division have met and talked to convince her to stay. In the final, they gave up after understanding her situation in which a relative of her has been ill while her income was insufficient to cover treatment costs. So she decided to move to work for a non-state enterprise which pays much higher than the wage of the agency’s leader with seniority of nearly 20 years.
Since 2016, 18 officials have stopped work. They are all qualified and well meet work requirements.
Deputy director of the agency Nguyen Thi Hong Hanh said that many promising civil servants said that their wage were unaffordable for covering daily expenses. Meantime, the income from non-state companies are very attractive.
Tribunal president of HCMC People’s Court Ung Thi Xuan Huong expressed concern as many judges and court clerks have left. Since the end of October last year, 11 judges and 15 clerks have quitted.
According to Ms. Huong, their resignation was due to huge work volume and pressure.
In HCMC, a judge must handle 116 cases a year or 10 cases a month while it should be 4-6 cases a month.
In fact, some judges must tackle up to 18 cases a month in some district people’s courts. That puts a huge pressure for them, many don’t dare to be on sick leave. Some moves to work for consultant service companies or run their family business.
Quitting was a great pity as each judge must do their best to be appointed to the title, tribunal president of HCMC People’s Court Ung Thi Xuan Huong said.
Thi Nghe Disabled Orphan Patronage Center under HCMC Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs is now taking care of 570 disable children. Up to 40 center workers have quitted for the last year because of low wage.
Many civil servants have also resigned their jobs in districts and communes for the same reason. Binh Chanh district saw 174 people quite since 2016 while District 8 reported over 100 cases.
Ms. Duong Thi Uyen Chi, head of Internal Affairs Department in Binh Chanh, said that many of the 174 quitters are years-long seniority with master degree. They used to attend the training program of the HCMC Party Committee before being appointed to agency leaders.
Most of them quitted because of heavy work load, said Ms. Chi. According to her, urbanization progresses very fast in Binh Chanh with highly increase population. Some communes saw an increase of 10,000 residents a year. In the meantime, infrastructures have been in confusion with limitations in land use and planning. As a result, many problems have arisen including crimes, social evils and unlicensed construction. Amid that scenario is a shortage of workforce putting heavy pressure on the district government.
In education field, Mr. N.V.P, teacher of a large high school in Binh Thanh district, has left the school after finishing a master course in the United of Kingdom, saying the move aimed to develop his ability and avoid achievement pressure. Specifically, he will be invited to work with the school management board if his class has no city level good student every year. Another reason is that income at the new place is ten times higher than that at the school.
Ms. H has left a public high school in District 5 for Dinh Thien Ly Private High School in District 7. She is a good teacher winning the first prize in a national creative teacher competition.
Ms. L, vice principle of a secondary school in District 2, has said good bye to the school to work for an international school.
In the academic year of 2017-2018, two vice principles, four teachers and two staff of Le Ngoc Han Primary School in District 1 left for an international private school with the new wage swinging VND20-40 million a person a month.
Annually, HCMC sees nearly 1,050 nursery teachers quit.
In 2017, 115 Emergency Center had 23 quitters including six doctors. Director of the center Nguyen Duy Long said that the doctors had gone because of low income approximating VND4-6 million a person and dangerous working environment.

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