Civil servants fear their pay rises will be affected by shockwaves from the regional financial crisis. The Pay Trend Survey and Research Unit surveys pay rises at 78 firms to form the basis for the civil service increase. It is understood that only one-third of the firms, mainly public utilities, awarded pay rises in the middle of last year. The rest received rises after the stock market turmoil in October. A senior official believed those companies with pay rounds early this year or around April would be affected. 'Obviously the crisis is going to affect the pay rise to a certain extent,' he said. The unit polls the adjustment for lower, middle and upper-band employees from April through to March. Figures obtained will be used as indicators for the civil service. The Executive Council expects to make the final ruling in summer after negotiations between the Government and the staff unions. The president of the Chinese Civil Servants' Association, Cecilia So Chui-kuen, believes the companies will lower pay rises. 'Obviously we can't expect what we got in the past. Indeed, I don't have high hopes at all,' she said. Figures showed that except for a slight rebound in 1994-95, pay rises have dwindled in the past six years from an average of 11.45 per cent in 1991-92 to 6.7 per cent last year. Pay Trend and Research Unit controller Rupert Cheung Ming-bor said: 'This is just a fact-finding survey to reflect the trend in the private sector.' The Civil Service Bureau would not say if the pay review would be in line with the economic downturn.