26 September 2023

And in Other News….

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TV licence cheats cost millions

The Irish Minister for Communications, Denis Naughten (pictured) says that 15 per cent of the population is evading paying the annual television licence fee that funds the public broadcaster, RTÉ.

The Minister said the level of evasion represented an annual loss of approximately €40 million (A$64 million) to public service broadcasting.

The Irish Parliament, the Dáil is currently considering alternatives to the licence fee to fund public service broadcasting.

Recommendations include replacing the TV licence with a broadcasting fee that everyone pays, with the increased revenue to be shared with local and regional radio stations.

Dublin, 31 March 2018


Medical students boycott exams

Algerian student physicians have continued a boycott of professional examinations, saying they will not take them until Public Service reforms are instituted.

Their protests have now entered a fifth month and Chief Officer of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Tahar Hadjar has threatened the students with suspension or exclusion if they continue the boycott.

As well as the long, compulsory period of public service doctors are expected to undergo once they qualify, the quality of treatment in Algeria is failing, with diseases such as measles and rubella still killing children.

According to reports, equipment at a cancer centre of the largest hospital in the country has been broken for three years, with observers saying the lack of reform has made the Algerian health system “ungovernable”.

Algiers, 4 April 2018


PS contraceptive choice expanded

The Canadian Government is expanding the range of contraceptives it provides for female Public Servants under its healthcare plan.

President of the Treasury Board, Scott Brison said workers would now have access to non-oral contraceptives.

Previously the plan covered only oral contraceptives.

“Respecting women’s rights, including reproductive health rights, is critically important to our Government’s fundamental commitment to empowering women,” Mr Brison said.

“Expanding the range of contraceptive options for members of the Public Service Health Care Plan and their families is just the right thing to do.”

Ottawa, 30 March 2018


Remote villages wait for service

Inhabitants of some remote villages in Nepal say they are still being forced to journey considerable distances to access Government services as Public Servants are refusing to move out of the main centres to staff branch offices.

One angry resident, Ramesh Kumar Bam complained that neither the elected leaders nor the PS employees had reached his village, even though they were supposed to work there under the new federal system.

“They blame the absence of banks, but it is not yet clear when the banks will provide their services in the local units,” Mr Ramesh said.

Government workers say they will stay put until offices with proper facilities are established in local villages.

Kathmandu, 3 April 2018


PS faces shutdown over pay

South African public sector unions have warned of a total shutdown if the Government continues “endless delaying tactics” in resolving wage negotiations.

A three-year deal came to an end on 31 March, and while both sides have made opening offers in negotiations, they are still far apart.

In a scathing statement, seven unions, representing more than 50 per cent of the Public Service workforce, said Government employees were now likely to miss the increase that should have been in their April paycheques.

Resolving the wage negotiations is critical for the Government, which is trying to reduce the Budget deficit, but it can ill afford a public sector shutdown a year before a General Election.

Pretoria, 5 April 2018


Turkish officials seek asylum

Germany’s Federal Agency for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has revealed that 288 holders of Turkish diplomatic passports and 771 Turkish Public Service passport holders sought asylum in Germany since the failed Turkish coup in 2016.

BAMF said the count included the applicants’ children, but not asylum-seeking Turkish soldiers.

Since 2016, Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suspended or fired around 150,000 PS employees and jailed some 50,000 people, claiming that a one-time ally, Fethulah Gulen, now resident in the United States, was behind the failed coup.

Berlin, 2 April 2018


A-G attacks education

Fiji’s Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has launched an attack on the Department of Education, saying the reason not a lot of things were happening in schools was because Public Servants were not doing their jobs.

He highlighted this during the 2018–19 National Budget consultation in Nausori while responding to queries that were raised by students.

One of the students told the Minister that the technical drawing workbook syllabus for Year 13 students arrived at the school in week nine.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he had instructed Ministry of Education officials to ensure that every child had a textbook when school started and he had been assured by the Ministry that this was done.

Suva, 30 March 2018

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