Civil service image 'at risk' in row

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 08 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 08 July, 2009, 12:00am

Civil service minister Denise Yue Chung-yee says she is saddened by the disputes over this year's pay adjustment for the civil service.

Miss Yue told the legislature's public service panel she was worried the pay row could have a negative impact on the image of the civil service.

Responding to a lawmaker's question, she said disputes over this year's government salary trend survey and grade structure review recommendations had saddened her.

'It is not surprising to see differences between the views of the staff side and the management,' she said. 'What I truly cherish is the image of the civil service and [I worry] the row could have a negative impact.

'I accept that civil service groups disagree with my views, but I am sure my colleagues and I did not do anything behind the scenes to destroy civil servants' image. Their image is of utmost importance.'

The minister was referring to lawmaker Priscilla Leung Mei-fun's comment that some government sources in media reports had attacked civil servants and eventually caused a misunderstanding between both sides.

Earlier, civil service groups expressed disappointment over a decision to cut senior officers' pay by 5.38 per cent. Some civil service groups and lawmakers had insisted on a pay freeze to avoid controversy over legislating for a salary cut.

Police staff made a U-turn in calling off a march last month after the police commissioner pledged to fight for them and backed their demands for a review of their grade structure. He also promised to seek backdating of pay-review recommendations.