Carrie Lam urges unions to rejoin civil service pay panel
Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor - who is the acting chief executive while Leung Chun-ying is in New York - has called on police unions and disciplinary services unions to “change their minds” on a boycott over an unpopular pay rise for civil servants.
She urged them to return to the government pay adjustment mechanism, which they decided to quit in protest of this year’s pay rise offer.
“I hope the civil service unions, which pulled out from the Pay Trend Survey Committee due to disappointment and discontent, can change their minds,” Lam said on Tuesday morning. “The current mechanism is effective. We will respond to manpower issues and civil service morale after the pay adjustment process is complete.”
Lam insisted the government had considered all six factors before coming to the offer, which suggests a pay increase of 3.92 per cent for civil servants in the lower and middle salary bands, and 2.55 per cent for the upper band.
The offer was identical to the recommendation by a government commissioned pay survey result, which studied the pay trend in the private sector last year.
Three out of four police unions, and all the disciplinary services unions, representing more than 50,000 government employees out of 170,000, have decided to quit the mechanism which has been in place for more than two decades. The police unions demanded an independent mechanism to adjust police pay.
Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Chinese Civil Servants’ Association said it might seek arbitration from an independent committee, or even a judicial review, if the government failed to clarify the mechanism.
Li Kwai-yin, vice-president of the association, said the final pay adjustment was not supposed to be hooked with the pay trend survey result, and the government should have consider other five factors, including staff side’s demands, cost of living and civil service morales.
She said the union would wait until the Executive Council made its decision on the pay offer before taking any further action.