Civil servants are not special

Updated: 2015-07-16 07:58

(China Daily)

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Civil servants are not special

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]

With some of this year's 7.49 million university graduates set to be recruited as civil servants, public perception that it is the best way to enjoy a good life has once again surfaced.

Public servants have long been viewed by some as enjoying an "iron rice bowl", a phrase referring to an occupation with guaranteed job security, as well as steady income and benefits, and linked to "working in a leisurely manner" with opportunities to earn "gray income".

But in contrast to this perception, many civil servants, especially those at the grassroots level, often complain of their heavy workloads, low salaries, and that they receive none of the extra benefits enjoyed that people assume.

Controversies involving civil servants, accompanied by growing hostility toward them, are not a rational development. To end such controversies, being a civil servant should be recognized as being an ordinary career, and not one that is bestowed with special benefits.

As a group funded by public money, civil servants should be under public oversight. However, while exercising such a right, the public should do this in a reasonable and legal manner.

The right of oversight should not become an excuse to pry. Fair treatment and respect should be the bottom line in the exercising of public supervision. At the same time, civil servants should view themselves as ordinary members of society and not use their positions as an excuse to demand exorbitant salaries as they are paid by taxpayers to provide public service.

The above is an abridgement of a China Youth Daily article published on Wednesday.