The jobless should have been given part-time jobs at polling stations, a unionist said yesterday. Elizabeth Tang Yin-ngor, chief executive of the Confederation of Trade Unions and a member of Tung Chee-hwa's taskforce on employment, criticised officials for failing to use the $61 million budget to help the jobless. 'They should have considered hiring some unemployed to fill these jobs to alleviate their difficulties,' Ms Tang said. 'This shows how rigid the Government is. The officers in charge of electoral matters think unemployment is dealt with by the Education and Manpower Bureau alone and don't realise they can offer a helping hand,' she said. There are about 15,000 part-time jobs allocated to civil servants; 12,000 for the polling stations and 3,000 for the central counting stations. Pay ranges from $900 for a counting assistant to $5,380 for presiding officers and counting supervisors. They are required to work tomorrow and to attend some meetings in advance. Ms Tang believed there would have been no problems giving campaign manager and candidate assistant jobs to non-civil servants. She was supported by her colleague on the taskforce, Cheng Yiu-tong, chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions. 'I think a lot of unemployed people would be willing to take up the jobs,' he said. A spokesman for the Registration and Electoral Office said they were just following past practice in hiring the civil servants. 'We had not thought of offering the jobs to non-civil servants.'