Today, the cabinet will discuss a new bill which will introduce a new system of fixed-term employment to the public service contracts, Ahram Online has learned.
Nasser Fouad, a spokesman for the ministry of state for administrative development, explained that there will not be a major change in the system of employment. "It’s just that a new pattern of fixed-term contracts will be used in some special cases like when any given ministry is implementing certain types of temporary program," he added.
“In such cases, the job seekers will know in advance about the short-term nature of the contract," Fouad said in defense of the new law, explaining that it would introduce an efficient system that will help the government "eliminate unnecessary expenses."
The new bill, introduced back in 2007 by the minister of state for administrative development, had caused much rage among activists and workers rights defenders, including state court judges who say the new draft will promote corruption.
“Fixing the number of civil servants at six millions and determining promotions through a national competition, as suggested by the new law, will lead to a more vulnerable and week civil servant,” said Khaled Ali, head of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social rights (ECESR).
Ali believes that the working conditions of the public servants will only become worse if the bill is approved.
"There are currently about 500,000 civil servants working under temporary contracts, and in many cases for less than LE100 per month. The new bill will only make things worse, legalizing and generalizing this state,” he adds, pointing to the case of state-run information centers' employees, who hold many protests, and who, after many years of working with only short term contracts, earn less than LE100.
On Saturday, the ECESR formed a new committee made of activists and workers who are demanding the protection of rights of temporary workers in face of the new bill.