Saturday, August 28, 2004

General duties - multi-skilling

This is the view of the private sector on the future of the secretaries and clerks. The terms are a bit different. Departmental secretaries are general clerks and manager secretaries are PSs. We are aware of the trend and have introduced multi-skilling for the clerical grades, but not as drastic as the private sector. There are still many manager secretaries.

The article mentioned the role of managers, that some of them are still computer-illiterate and must rely on PS, but these managers soon be displaced. However, I note that there is also a phonemenon in government that PS is a status symbol, irrespective there is work for them.

The proposed way-out for secretaries and clerks is self-improvement and thus advancement. The trend is that all office chore will be performed by executive assistants who are multi-skill clerks and secretaries and also junior managers. The entry requirements are degree plus language and communication ability and also computer knowledge. The pay is $8-9K. Sound familiar? They are actually EOs doing all kinds of general grade duties. Does this point to the merging of the EO/CO/PS grades? Or can we present it just as the abolishing of the CO and PS grades? I think this makes the issue of really professionalizing the EO grade more pressing.

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