Everybody's going to get a raise | Bangkok Post: learning

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Everybody's going to get a raise

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New govt workers with university degrees starting at 15,000 per month was the original plan, now it looks like almost everyone has to get a raise. 

civil servants

In the photo above government civil servants in uniform attend a formal gathering in Bangkok.

Inflation could "defeat the purpose of the salary increase," one government employee interviewed in today's article points out.

Read a article about similar concerns about inflation from wage increases among small street food vendors here

Click button to listen to 15,000 Baht Salaries to download

Wage hike plan gains traction; Raises for degree holders would cost B18 billion by Chatrudee Theparat, Pradit Ruangdit & Penchan Charoensuthipan


The Cabinet approved in principle yesterday a plan to raise the monthly income of civil servants with bachelor's degrees to 15,000 baht, while leaving open the possibility that the benefit may be extended to personnel with lower levels of education.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra told reporters yesterday she had instructed relevant agencies to review the proposal more thoroughly to ensure it does not discriminate against state employees with no university degrees.

"I am concerned and want to make sure that the package does not cover only those with bachelor's degrees," she said. "We did not think about the people with vocational diplomas. So, we'll need to look at the broader structure again

Under the proposal approved by the Cabinet yesterday, civil servants whose salaries are less than 15,000 baht a month would be given a cost of living allowance to bring their monthly income to 15,000 baht

The increase would take effect on Jan 1, deputy government spokeswoman Anuttama Amornvivat said.

About 18 billion baht will be used from the 2012 budget to pay for the wage hike, a sum that would escalate to 24.5 billion baht in fiscal 2013, she said

A total of 649,000 state officials in five categories are eligible for the cost of living increase. They are civil servants, permanent employees, temporary employees, contracted employees, and military personnel.

Of those, about 346,000 have a bachelor's or higher degree.

Ms Anuttama said the cabinet had also passed a resolution ordering the Office of Civil Service Commission to adjust pay structures of government officials for four consecutive years until their base salaries reach 15,000 baht per month.

Those who do not have a bachelor's degree would receive an allowance that would bring their monthly income up to 9,000 baht.

Soldiers whose salary now stands at 8,610 baht a month will enjoy the hike which will see their monthly income increase to 9,000 baht as well.

Some government employees contacted by the Bangkok Post were uncertain whether the 15,000-baht monthly income hike would be permanent as they feared the measure could affect the country's finances.

A new government employee identified only as Taengmo, 27, who currently is paid 10,000 baht a month, said he was worried that the salary hike might affect the financial stability of the country. He urged the government to control inflation, which could defeat the purpose of the salary increase.

Tor, who has been in government service for six years and earns 12,000 baht a month, said he feels jealous of new graduates who look set to benefit from the 15,000 baht a month under the government's policy immediately.

Many state employees with five to six years of service currently are paid much less than 15,000 baht.

If the government wants to tackle economic inequality, it should have adjusted pay scales of civil servants and state employees at all levels, he said.

Ms Nok, 35, a government employee with six years of service, said her salary base was about 13,000 baht. She said she would give the additional money to her father, who is now taking care of her three children upcountry.

But she said she was not sure whether there would be continuity in the Pheu Thai-led government's income hike policy.

Pannee Charamporn, a lecturer at Rangsit University, urged the government to pay attention to civil servant wages and welfare benefits, particularly low-income-earning state employees.

She also said she wanted the government to tell the public how it will finance its wage hike policies.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yingluck said she was concerned about what she viewed as too narrow a gap in salaries for civil servants with a master's degree and those with a doctorate.

Ms Anutama said deputy prime minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong was authorised to consult with the Finance Ministry to seek an appropriate pay-scale for these groups of state employees.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Wage hike plan gains traction, Raises for degree holders would cost B18 billion, 21/09/2011, Chatrudee Theparat, Pradit Ruangdit & Penchan Charoensuthipan, link)

Wage Vocabulary

cost-push inflation -
a sustained rise in prices caused by businesses passing on increases in costs, especially labor costs, to customers (See Wikipedia)

inflation defeats the purpose of the salary increase -
meaning: if everyone gets a salary increase, then inflation is a likely result (due to cost push inflation) which means that the people with the salary increase can't really buy anything more with the extra money they earn, because the price of all goods has gone up

defeat - to lose and not achieve your goals ความพ่ายแ้พ้
X defeats the purpose of Y -  Y might result in X which would eliminate the benefits people planned from Y

traction - the grip that the wheels of a car have on the ground (if no traction, car cannot move forwards)
gain traction - starting to put some idea or plan into action (implement a plan)
wage hike plan gains traction - starting to implement the wage hike plan

principle - a basic belief, theory, or rule that has a major influence on the way in which something is done หลักการ
approved in principle -
the general idea of the proposal has been accepted, but details remain to be worked out (have not been decided on yet, not yet finalized, note: this approval is not binding in anyway, so they could always change their mind) (Source: Answers.com)

income - money that people receive from work or some other source, used for household consumption and savings
civil servant - a permanent employee of the government (has a uniform, job security and a strict set of rules followed in the government bureaucracy)

leaving open the possibility that - some decision could still be taken in the future (still an option)

benefit
- to get help or an advantage from something ผลประโยชน์
personnel - people who work for a company or organisation
benefit may be extended to personnel with lower levels of education

relevant - directly connected and important to what is being discussed or considered ที่เกี่ยวข้อง ที่เกี่ยวข้องโดยตรง
proposal - a plan or suggestion for a group to consider ข้อเสนอ
instructed relevant agencies to review the proposal more thoroughly

ensure
- to make certain that something happens or is done รับรอง ให้ความมั่นใจให้การยืนยัน 
state - government รัฐThe details
state employees - people who work for the government
concerned - worried about something มีความกังวล

vocational - teaching the skills necessary for particular jobs การสอนวิชาชีพ
diploma - the official document that shows that you graduated from a school
vocational diplomas - the official document that shows that you graduated from a vocational school (that teaches practical job skills)

allowance - 1. an additional amount of money that a person receives above their monthly salary; 2. an amount of money that someone receives in order to pay for the things that they need เงินสนับสนุน, เบี้ยเลี้ยง

cost of living increase -
an increase in wage or salary given to pay for basic goods needed for living (which have increased over time)
cost of living allowance (COLA) - an additional amount of money received to pay for everyday costs (rent, food, gasoline) due to inflation (See Wikipedia)

take effect - officially begin, officially start being used (example: the law takes effect this week)
deputy - a person who is given the power to do something instead of another person, or the person whose rank is immediately below that of the leader of an organisation รอง, ตัวแทน,ผู้รักษาการแทน

budget - the amounts of money that an organisation or the government has available to spend on different things during a period งบประมาณ (See Wikipedia)
wage - an amount of money that you earn for working, usually according to how many hours or days you work each week or month ค่าจ้าง
wage hike - an increase in wages

sum
- an amount of something, especially money จำนวนเงิน
escalate - to become bigger (or serious or worse) ทำให้มากขึ้น

fiscal
- related to government spending, connected with the government budget, i.e., public money เกี่ยวกับงบประมาณ
fiscal 2013 - the year 2013 on the government calendar (for government spending and budgeting) 

eligible
- meet the requirements or conditions needed to receive something; allowed by the rules to do something or to receive something ซึ่งมีคุณสมบัติเหมาะสม มีสิทธิ มีสิทธิชอบธรรมตามกฎหมาย เอื้อด้วยกฎหมาย

permanent - happening or existing for a long time or for all time in the future ถาวร
permanent employees - employees who have been hired permanently (meaning: they have "job security" and must be paid severance paid if they lose their job through no fault of their own, that is "laid off" not "fired")

temporary
- existing, done or used for only a limited period of time;temporary, not permanent ชั่วคราว
temporary employees - employees who only work for the organization for a short period of time
contracted
employees - employees that are hired for a limited period of time (under a contract)

resolution - an official decision made at a meeting after a vote มติ
passed a resolution - when a group of people in the government (such as the cabinet) make an official decision by voting

adjust - to change something slightly, especially to make it more correct, effective, or suitable ปรับ
adjust pay structures - change the standard amounts of money that are paid to employees at different levels (pay grades) in an organization

consecutive
- in a row, happening one after another; following one after another in order (and with nothing else in between) อย่างต่อเนื่อง ติดต่อกัน, ที่ต่อเนื่องตามลำดับ
four consecutive years - four years in a row

salary
- a fixed amount of money that you earn each month or year from your job เงินเดือน
salary now stands at 8,610 baht - salary is now at the level of 8,610 baht

base salary - the official salary for their pay grade (additional amounts are added: transportation allowance, cost of living allowance, etc)
salary base -
same as last item

will enjoy the hike -
will get the increase (in salary)
uncertain - don't know what will happen, not 100% sure ไม่มั่นใจ

measure
- an action that is intended to achieve a goal or deal with some problem มาตราการ
measure could affect the country's finances - meaning: result in the government spending more money which it has to borrow, as it borrows more the interest rate goes up and a bet crisis like that in Greech, Ireland, Portugal or the US arises

employee - someone who is paid regularly to work for a person or an organisation ลูกจ้าง
identified - named ระบุชื่อ
identified only as Taengmo - meaning: this is only the person's nickname (not their real name that identifies them)

stability - when a situation does change suddenly and unexpectedly, so people can operate normally and successfully ความมีเสถียรภาพ ความมั่นคง
financial stability of the country  - how stable the economy without sudden unexpected changes that make doing business and life more difficult (when the economic situation becomes unstable, inflation and interest rates might rise making life more difficult, due to higher government borrowing, etc)

inflation
- the level of prices rising in the economy as a whole  ภาวะเงินเฟ้อ
urged the government to control inflation - asked or requested the government very strongly to control inflation

urged - advised someone very strongly about what action should be taken;  requested them to do, begged them to do วิงวอน

in government service - working for the government
been in government service for six years - has worked for the government for six years
government employee with six years of service -
same as last phrase

jealous - unhappy and angry because someone has something or someone you want หึงหวง, หึง

policy
- a set of plans or action agreed on by a government, political party, business, or other group นโยบาย a plan of action to guide decisions and achieveoutcomes (See Wikipedia)
immediately - happening right after something else with no delay; right away ทันที
set to benefit under the government's policy immediately  

tackle - to make an organised and determine attempt to deal with a problem จัดการ แก้ปัญหา จัดการกับปัญหา
tackle economic inequality -
solve the problem of economic inequality (big difference in incomes of the poor and the rich)

pay-scale
- the different levels of monthly salary (pay) that a person can receive in a certain job
pay scales of civil servants - the different levels of pay that a permanent government worker can receive 

upcountry -
outside of and far away from the big city Bangkok (should mean to the north, but some people use it for all places outside of Bangkok)

continuity
- something continues to happen or exist (without interruptions or changes)

income hike policy -
all the policies of increasing incomes (minimum wage, 15,000 civil servant starting salary) 

pay attention to - watch carefully

wages
- the amount of money earned per hour by a worker

welfare
- good health and happiness; living in good conditions (with health, wealth, and happiness)
welfare benefits - things like health insurance that employees receives in addition to their salary and wages สวัสดิภาพ money, services, or goods you receive from a government or company programme เงินช่วยเหลือ

finance
- to provide money for something;  borrow money to pay for something จัดหาเงินทุนให้
how it will finance its wage hike policies - how will it pay for the new salary increases (higher taxes, increased borrowing and government deficits)

concerned about what she viewed as - worried about an issue that she described as (may not actually be an accurate description, others may disagree)

gap
- a large difference between people or groups ช่องว่าง
narrow - not wide; having a small distance from one side to the other, especially in comparison with the length แคบ
too narrow a gap in salaries - salaries are too close together (meaning: higher "academic degrees" should be awarded with higher salary)

master's degree - a degree with an extra one opr two years of study after an initial bachelor's degree, (See Wikipedia)
doctorate
- a PhD degree, with research degree (See Wikipedia)

authorised
- given permission to do something; activity given official permission to happen ได้สั่งการให้
consult with - ask for the opinion and advice of people affected by a decision before making the decision

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