The state sector is solid and conservative with its traditional values but the market economy has had an effect.
Previously, joining state agencies was the dream of many people. But in the past few years, state agencies have had to issue incentives to attract talent. Meanwhile, many public employees have resigned to join the private sector.
It has been reported that nearly 40,000 public employees or 2 percent of staff of the whole system, quit their jobs over the last two years. The figures were 16,400 in the education sector and 12,000 in the health sector.
In HCM City, from January 2020 to June 2022, nearly 6,700 public employees resigned, including 700 civil servants, 2,500 public employees in the educational sector and 2,000 public employees in the health sector.
The mass resignations to some are normal. Former Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (MHA) Tran Anh Tuan said that "when one leaves, another will come". However, this will cause consequences.
First, this is an alarm bell over current policies, especially on wages for civil servants and public employees. The wages are not high enough to feed their families. Because of this, they have to take extra jobs and earn money in the private sector where the pay is higher.
There are limited equal opportunities to get promotions in the public sector for many reasons. Over the last few years, Vietnam has tried to choose leaders of agencies through competitions. However, it was not enough to retain talent.
Second, this shows a bad working environment at state agencies and organizations. In the environment, workers pursue the principle "a bad compromise is better than a good lawsuit". They don’t have motivation to compete with co-workers.
All of them can "fulfill duties" at year-end review. Meanwhile, the leadership is incapable and tries to repress talented workers. So, leaving proves to be a good choice.
Third, the state will lose money spent on public employees. This includes expenses on organizing competitions to recruit workers and expenses on training. In addition, the state also spends money to send some of them to postgraduate training courses in Vietnam and overseas.
Fourth, the state will have to recruit new officers. This means that the state will again have to spend money.
The fifth consequence that needs discussion is the professional level and capability of the 40,000 resigned workers.
The Ministry of Home Affairs and relevant ministries have detailed information about the 40,000 resigned workers. However, these may include capable officers who have made considerable contributions to the agencies and the state. If so, this is a problem.
Vietnam has been running personnel streamlining program for many years, but incapable officers are not excluded, while talented workers want to leave. As a result, state agencies only have officers with average capability.
The sixth consequence is the decline in public service quality as 40,000 officers have left, including capable ones.
Dinh Duy Hoa