Hong Kong police associations withdraw from government pay rise system

Three associations say Pay Trend Survey Committee system is unfair and call for an independent wage review mechanism

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 September, 2013, 8:53am

Three police associations have decided to withdraw from the government pay-adjustment mechanism, casting doubt over how representative the system is.

The system has been in place for over two decades.

The Junior Police Officers' Association, the Police Inspectors' Association and the Overseas Inspectors' Association, which walked out of the Pay Trend Survey Committee in June, decided yesterday not to return.

"The three associations have basically agreed not to rejoin the PTSC," junior officers' chairman Joe Chan Cho-kwong said after a meeting of the Police Force Council yesterday at which the issue was discussed.

The groups complained that the system, which sets civil service salaries according to six factors including private sector pay rates, is unfair to police because there are no comparable jobs in private companies.

They will continue pressing for an independent pay review mechanism for the police.

Chan said the three associations, representing most of the city's 30,000 police officers, were preparing a written submission to the bureau outlining their demands.

"The three associations are fine-tuning our submission to urge an independent pay review mechanism for police officers," he said.

The survey committee, which includes members from business, the government and staff, is due to meet next Wednesday.

The Superintendents' Association, which was represented at yesterday's meeting, did not join the other groups' action and said it would attend the survey committee meeting.

The four police associations had refused to endorse this year's survey results, which indicated rises of 3.92 per cent for lower and middle salary bands, and 2.55 per cent for upper bands.

Police Inspectors' Association chairman Benjamin Tsang Chiu-fo said they would not give up on an independent mechanism as private sector pay could provide no reliable and fair references.

"There are no positions in private companies that have a job nature comparable with that of police officers," Tsang said.

"The representativeness of the PTSC is inevitably affected seriously as a number of associations have withdrawn from it."

The Disciplined Services Consultative Council has separately withdrawn from the committee.

Superintendents' Association chairman Peter Cornthwaite said it would be "more sensible to sit in the room" to push for changes.

"We want to seek a consensus and meaningful changes to the pay trend survey in 2014," he said.

A civil service bureau spokeswoman said the representativeness of the survey committee would not be affected as about half of the remaining members were from the staff side. But she added: "The door remains open for the withdrawn associations."

The four police associations told Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in June they felt "insulted, disheartened and betrayed" by the pay offer.