Giving civil servants pay rises in line with inflation would greatly improve staff morale, trade unions say.
Unionists made the call after a government committee indicated last week that pay rises for the city's 170,000 civil servants might not exceed 4 per cent - short of the inflation rate of 4.4 per cent.
Ngai Sik-shui, an employee representative on the Disciplined Services Consultative Council, said he had received a dozen text messages from officers expressing "intense opinions" about the report by the pay trend survey committee.
"We will respect [the report] results, and will explain it to our members," Ngai said on radio yesterday. "But we hope [the government] can take into consideration the morale of those in the disciplined services and civil service."
The committee published pay indicators based on its annual survey of private-sector salary trends.
The indicators showed senior civil servants might get 2.55 per cent more, while middle and lower-tier employees could receive 3.92 per cent.
Lau Ten-yuen, representing the Government Municipal Staff General Union, said some members had expressed disappointment with the figures.
Committee member Li Kwai-yin, a representative of the Senior Civil Service Council staff side, said the range was not set in stone.
"I hope the government will consider adjusting the pay rise so that it covers inflation," Li said. Failing to do so would affect civil servants' purchasing power, and therefore quality of life.
A larger rise would have a positive effect on the economy and could flow on to non-governmental organisations, she said.
In the past few years, civil servants had endured pay cuts as well as a pay freeze, and rises were generally small, Li said.
Civil servants had hoped only that their pay would to be able to keep up with inflation.