Working overtime justified for civil servants

Updated: 2015-07-14 16:50


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Working overtime justified for civil servants

Candidates review before the civil servant recruitment exam of Jiangsu Province at Nanjing Forestry University in Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu province, March 22, 2015. More than 190,000 candidates here will compete for 5,872 positions this year. [Photo by Liu Jianhua/Xinhua]

The municipal government in Yan'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province has come under fire after asking all its public servants to work on Saturdays until the end of September in an attempt to boost the sluggish local economy. The regulation shouldn't be over interpreted, as civil servants are expected to sacrifice their time for the public interest, says Wang Shichuan, a comentator on Netease website. Excerpts:

Many netizens criticized the newly-released official document, saying it violates the provision set in relevant Chinese laws that “The working hour system stipulated by the state shall apply to civil servants. A civil servant may enjoy holidays as provided for by the state.”

But we should know that civil servants are not ordinary employees. They work for the government and serving people is one of their most important duties. When their personal interests are confronted with public benefits, it is justified to let them give up some of their spare time to secure the collective interest.

It is understandable that public servants work harder, including working overtime, to boost the local economy during the economic recession period. Besides, given that Yan'an was battered by heavy rains the year before last, some civil servants need to work overtime to do flood prevention work and better ensure the safety of people's lives and property. Finally, only civil servants from relevant government departments are required to work overtime in a stated period and the others can still have time off on Saturdays.