Lower pay rise for civil service
By CATHERINE NG
THE territory's 180,000 civil servants are likely to receive pay rises lower than the inflation rate, it was revealed yesterday.
Increases of 8.89 per cent, 8.85 per cent and 7.92 per cent for upper, middle and lower ranking civil servants respectively have been suggested by the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Services.
But when automatic salary increases because of seniority are taken into account, the increment is slightly lower than the 7.93 per cent inflation rate.
The automatic rises are 1.1 per cent, 1.18 per cent and 1.09 per cent respectively.
The pay breakdown is: Low-ranking staff who earn less than $13,230 a month: 6.83 per cent; Middle-ranking staff whose monthly salary falls between $13,230 and $38,210: 7.67 per cent; High-ranking staff whose pay is at or above $39,300 a month: 7.79 per cent.
Under current practice, low-ranking staff are usually given a bigger rise. Adjustments are automatically calculated to make the rate of increase comparable with those in the middle rank.
The survey was drawn up after studying the pay trends of 75 companies with more than 100 staff in the past financial year.
Representatives of civil service unions were informed of the results yesterday, and they will discuss them at a meeting this month.
If the results are endorsed by the unions, the Government will adopt them.
A union spokesman said he expected the rise would at least be on par with inflation, although expectations were low because the economy had been slow in the past two years.
The lower rate of increase for low-ranking staff reflected the situation in the low-income labour market, which has been hit by the importation of labour.
The Federation of Employers has recommended a pay rise of six per cent.
The controller of the standing commission secretariat, John Leung Chi-fai, said the federation's decision was based on a survey of pay trends over the past one or two months, while the civil service figures were calculated on private-sector pay trends for the whole year.