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  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 8:11am

Maids and judges: who deserve a bigger raise?

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 September, 2012, 12:26pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 September, 2012, 12:26pm

Hong Kong gave pay raises to two groups of people recently. The city's 300,000 foreign domestic helpers had their minimum wage bumped up 4.8%, or HK$180 per month. "Too big," says a representative of their employers, who believes 3% would have been much more reasonable. 

Meanwhile, the city's judicial elite of 144 judges got a 5.66% pay rise. The response from concerned groups -- lawmakers and lawyers -- however, is quite different. They believe the judges' pay, which ranges between HK$200,000 and HK$250,000 a month, is still too low to attract top judicial talent. 

Both groups are hard-working and indispensable to Hong Kong. But who deserves a bigger raise? 


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Maids should get a pay rise ......as they looks after our most important assests - the children. in fact, I reckon there ought to be better & higher minimum requirements for maids when they care for monor-age children. (such as education). Judges are already over-paid! Our judicial system is alreday too "legal", insofar that "JUSTICE" is often over looked, since the "law" and its wordings is taken into account. We need more blind judges, not great and experience legal minds in our courts. A major review of the legal system, and in particular a close examination of "judges" is sorely needed. This is even more urgent, in the field of commerce, where the legal system is being privatized, in the form of behind-the-door arbitrations! Justice and fair play is being ignore, as contractual terms and conditions over-ride "JUSTICE".
I think an even higher pay rise for judges is justified for reasons already stated here. On the other hand, it is arguable if domestic helpers should get a pay rise at all. Maids are non-residents specifically allowed by the HK government to work in HK for one purpose alone, to provide the local people with cheap domestic help. Linking their pay rise with inflation, let alone above inflation, is plain wrong since the typical HK maid is simply not exposed to the many price rises which inflation brings. Think about it, don't they have most daily necessities provided for by their employers? Ultimately, maid's pay rises should be decided by market forces and the maid's own performance, not the government. With regards to market forces and if memory serves correctly, we have approximately half a million maids in HK, they wouldn't be here if their existing pay and other working conditions aren't attractive. Honestly, I think maids in HK already have it pretty good. Go to any agency and look at the CV of a maid with other international working experience. Even excluding regions in the Middle East, places like Singapore give their maids much less salary and not nearly as many mandatory days off. If the reason for letting HK people have maids is to help the locals out, then short of maids no long willing to come, I do not see any compelling reason to give them any pay rise whatsoever. In fact, on the issue of statutory days off, I see an opportunity to decrease them.
Judges needs to be paid most and enough as they are the first ones who get approach by poeple who wants to corrupt them. Lawyers, government officials and Police Enforcement officers are the nexts. Corruption is all present and high wages prevent someone to be bribed.
First of all, as both of the groups are quite distinguish from each other. It is meaningless to compare these two groups.
If I really need to choice one side, I would like to say the judicial group deserves a bigger pay raise. No doubt of it, if you want to be the judicial talent, you need to study more. I do think that studying is another form of investment, it needs you input money into it. When they can be the lawmakers or lawyers in the future, it’s time for them to have a reward.
Furthermore, in HK judicial system is our core of the GOV. The incorrupt, clean and independent judicial spirit is something we need to cherish. And this is also a factor to attract an investment from other country. In HK, normally the disciplinary forces have a higher salary than other industry. Why? Our GOV hope the high pay in salary can also increase their incorruptibility. The clean of history of HK shows that it is right. If the clean judicial spirit has been affected, the negative impact will be tremendous and will even spread to other industry in HK. Thus it should be well safe guard. Therefore I hope the high pay rise can further consolidate their faith in the judicial system.
The judges deserve a bigger pay raise because it's skilled labour and they're in very high demand.


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