Veteran university staff might receive one-off payment

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 February, 2008, 12:00am

The University of Hong Kong is considering a 'one-off' payment to long-serving staff, vice-chancellor Tsui Lap-chee said yesterday.

The performance-based payment would be made to staff hired on an old salary scheme who had already reached the maximum pay scale, he said.

Professor Tsui said 80 per cent of teaching staff were on the old pay scale and some salary adjustment was necessary.

It is not known how many would be eligible.

It is aimed at making long-serving staff eligible for a discretionary benefit that is now given to top-performing staff under a new pay agreement.

Professor Tsui termed the payment a 'reward' rather than a bonus, saying he did not wish to give staff the wrong impression as the university did not have a bonus system.

But he declined to give details about the size of the potential payout or when staff could expect it.

Staff union official Felix Ng Kwok-yan said the news appeared to contradict earlier comments from university management that no such payment would be made. 'If it is true, then this is to be welcomed,' he said. 'But I am concerned it will not apply to non-teaching staff.'

Professor Tsui also confirmed that the search for a new head of the university's medical faculty had been narrowed down to two candidates. He declined to identify them. The university has been searching for a new dean since Lam Shiu-kum resigned in March over a controversy involving fees charged to private patients.