• Fri
  • Jul 25, 2014
  • Updated: 9:48am
NewsHong Kong

Civil servants demand 5.1 per cent pay rise

Government employees find 3.8pc rise suggested by survey too low

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 May, 2014, 4:22am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 May, 2014, 10:28am

Civil service groups told their chief yesterday they wanted bigger pay increases than those recommended by a study, but were not optimistic they would get them.

Meeting Secretary for the Civil Service Paul Tang Kwok-wai, they demanded 5.1 per cent - in line with inflation - for lower-paid staff. The annual study of private-sector pay suggested a 3.8 per cent increase.

"Last year's raise was low at 3.92 per cent, but this year it's even lower," said Li Wai-yee, who chairs the staff side of the model scale 1 staff consultative council. "We won't rule out … withdrawing from [the pay trend survey committee]."

The committee, including independent businesspeople and professionals together with government and staff representatives, oversees the annual survey. This year's study, released this month, recommended pay increases of 3.8 per cent, 4.71 per cent and 5.96 per cent for government employees in the lower, middle and upper salary bands, respectively.

Li said a 5.1 per cent raise would be in line with the past year's increase in the Consumer Price Index that relates to low-expenditure households. She said Tang said he would pass her views to the Executive Council.

But staff representatives acknowledge they face an uphill battle in achieving their demands as the government has hardly ever veered from its proposed increase after meeting them.

Junior Police Officers' Association Joe Chan Cho-kwong said officials gave him the "cold shoulder" when he demanded a 5.2 per cent raise, even though it was just 0.1 per cent above inflation. Chan said the Police Force Council, which includes his association, had no plan to rejoin the survey committee after withdrawing from it last year.

In another sign of dissatisfaction with the process, the Senior Government Officers Association - representing higher-paid staff - boycotted a meeting of the survey committee, questioning the survey's credibility.

The rest of the groups that attended the meeting all endorsed the survey, but stressed they were still disappointed.

Last year, civil servants in the lower and middle salary bands received a raise of 3.92 per cent, while those in the upper salary bands got a 2.55 per cent increase.

The annual survey is one of six factors considered in adjusting the salaries. Others include cost of living, morale, economic conditions and the government's fiscal position.

The government is Hong Kong's biggest employer, with more than 160,000 on its payroll.



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Could SCMP please publish the salaries an benefit packages for the top 200 HK government officials? Also if they use public transport?schools?hospitals? Instead if worrying if I get to bite I would be much happier to know they are required by a change in law while holding office at those levels they are required while in office to use these public services and not be able to live in bubbles. Live like the common folk do. That might go a lot further in changing how things are run than us getting to vote. And besides it would be fun to watch them wait in hospitals, have their kids attend public schools and best if all cram into the MTR at 9:00am everyday. One us by and for the people? I
Fat Cats
No! No! No! Stick to the mechanism unless there are compelling reasons not to adhere to it. Every year the lower and middle bands receive the same adjustments whichever the higher for these 2 bands. Its time to stop these guys from getting what they want. Greed all over their faces.


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