TAOs buoyed by Prayut's wage pledge

TAOs buoyed by Prayut's wage pledge

Pay boost to affect over 400,000 staff

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha speaks to reporters at Government House on Tuesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha speaks to reporters at Government House on Tuesday. (Photo: Chanat Katanyu)

More than 400,000 officials from tambon administrative organisations (TAO) across Thailand are expecting the interior minister to approve their proposed salary increases as their wages have not been boosted for 15 years.

Weerasak Hadda, chairman of the TAO Association of Thailand, met Pirapan Salirathavibhaga, the prime minister's secretary-general, and Chatchawal Kong-udom, chief adviser to the prime minister, to follow up on the salary changes.

"Mr Pirapan said Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda agreed in principle and will present the proposal to a screening panel before it is approved," said Mr Weerasak.

He said the highest salaries paid to those working at TAOs are equivalent to the lowest salaries at municipal offices, so the raise would help close the income gap among local government organisations.

The PM's secretary-general also said the proposal can be reviewed by a panel under the Interior Ministry and approved by the minister without requiring a cabinet resolution, as the principle would be passed as a ministerial regulation, Mr Weerasak added.

He said if their proposal was approved, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha would gain more popularity among the 400,000 TAO staff nationwide.

"The TAO association has been pushing for a salary raise in principle since the governments of Yingluck Shinawatra and Abhisit Vejjajiva.

"It was a sign of sincerity from Gen Prayut to send his secretary-general to meet me and agree to proceed with the matter immediately. He will surely win over all TAO officials if it takes effect," Mr Weerasak said.

Pheu Thai Party leader Cholnan Srikaew sent his congratulations to TAO officials. However, he warned them not to get their hopes up too high regarding decisions or promises made within six months of a general election.

Gen Prayut is now a prospective ministerial candidate of the United Thai Nation (UTN) Party, while Mr Peerapan was named party leader.

Dr Cholnan said that even though the decision to follow up on the wage hikes had not been made entirely by Gen Prayut, his actions could be interpreted as a veiled election campaign promise.

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