Contract employees may receive rise in pay, says minister

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 July, 2008, 12:00am

Contract government employees are likely to be offered a pay rise this year, Secretary for the Civil Service Denise Yue Chung-yee said yesterday as lawmakers endorsed a HK$6.8 billion salary-increase package for permanent staff.

She was speaking at a Finance Committee meeting after legislators expressed concern about the continuing wage discrepancy between permanent and contract staff even though their work descriptions and requirements could be similar.

Miss Yue said a vibrant labour market, high inflation and a pay rise for permanent civil servants were the factors prompting a pay review for those on contracts.

She said that because contract and permanent staff were employed on varying terms, the government was in no position to offer them a pay rise simultaneously this time.

Under the package endorsed yesterday, civil servants, employees of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, teachers hired by subvented schools, judges and other judiciary staff will be offered a pay rise of between 0.19 and 6.3 per cent.

The rise would be offered retroactively from April 1, the beginning of the government's financial year.

Lawmakers also approved funding of HK$1.12 billion for the live-chicken trade affected by a ban on live poultry being kept at stalls overnight.