Thumbs up to new pay offer from civil servants

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 June, 2014, 4:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 June, 2014, 4:00am

Public servants on the lowest pay responded positively to a higher wage-rise offer - of 4.71 per cent - from the Civil Service Bureau.

Proposed raises for employees in the middle and upper salary bands remain at 4.7 per cent and 5.96 per cent, respectively.

The adjustment for those in the lowest salary band came after unions met Secretary for the Civil Service Paul Tang Kwok-wai last month to contest the 3.8 per cent rise suggested earlier.

"It's not the 5.1 per cent that we have demanded, but it is still acceptable," Leung Tat-wah, who represents the Model Scale 1 Staff Consultative Council (Staff Side), said yesterday. The group represents government workers on the lowest pay.

A bureau spokesman said the Chief Executive in Council decided on the revision after taking into account six factors under an established pay-adjustment mechanism. All four central staff consultative councils in the civil service had been told and the Chief Executive in Council would consider their responses before making a final decision, he said.

That decision will then be submitted to the Legislative Council for approval.

Leung said a 5.1 per cent raise was justified as it was in line with the rise in the consumer price index that applied to low-expenditure households in the past year.

"We're not very satisfied because we need a raise that can at least cover inflation," he said. "Everything is expensive. KMB has just announced a fare increase of 3.9 per cent."

Leung said he would talk to his members first before deciding if the group would quit the government's pay trend survey committee as they had threatened.

Ngai Sik-shui, a representative of the Disciplined Services Consultative Council, was disappointed the offers for middle- and upper-band employees were not adjusted.

In adjusting salaries, the government considers the cost of living, staff morale, economic conditions, the government's fiscal position and its annual survey of private-sector pay.