New pay system unfair, CityU told

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 February, 2012, 12:00am


City University should restore its old system of pay rises because a new performance-based review exercise barely helps employees cope with inflation and cannot be applied across the board, a poll shows.

Clerks and cleaners could hardly be expected to obtain excellent ratings that would guarantee them a raise under the scheme, the university's staff association said.

'University employees are not like insurance brokers. They cannot count how many insurance policies they secure in a month,' said the association chairman John Tse Wing-ling. It proposed restoring features of the old system, including incremental increases and inflation-linked adjustments, similar to that used in the civil service.

Performance evaluations could remain, it said, but that should not be a major factor in deciding staff pay.

The call came after a poll of 710 staff members last week found 95 per cent support for having an inflation-linked adjustment in the new system.

Under the old system, wages rose progressively through a salary scale and through a cost-of-living adjustment, covering inflation or deflation.

With both aspects scrapped since the last academic year, employees could hardly keep up with inflation, Tse said.

'Staff members who are rated 'satisfactory' in the review will get a 2.9 per cent pay increase,' he said. 'It is lower than the inflation rate.'

Those with higher ratings could earn a pay rise of 4 per cent or more, but that could easily have materialised under the old system, he said.

Changes to the pay structure were made under chief executive candidate Leung Chun-ying when he served as the university's council chairman. Without mentioning Leung's name, Tse said the university refused to listen to staff opinions when it made the changes.

The association would ask its members next week to evaluate Leung's performance during his time as council head, Tse said.

A university spokesman said the association's poll could not reflect the opinions of the majority, as only 710 out of 3,800 staff members had taken part in the survey.

Consultations were held before the council adopted the changes, which were implemented from the 2010-2011 academic year, the spokesman said. The scheme aimed to reward those with good performances.

Meanwhile, the university will get a new council chairman from April with David Sun Tak-kei in the role until December 2013. Sun is a retired chairman and managing partner of Ernst & Young. He is a member of the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee, a government-appointed non-executive director of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority and a member of the Process Review Panel for the Securities and Futures Commission.