The civil service chief yesterday urged civil servants to 'speak less and work harder' ahead of a planned mass rally by workers. Secretary for Civil Service Joseph Wong Wing-ping said civil servants were luckier than private sector employees in the troubled economic environment. 'Compared with many employees, civil servants already have stable income,' Mr Wong said. 'And their jobs are securer than others as the Government is the only major employer who will not force staff sackings. '[If they protest on the street] those who don't understand the Government well would think we have nothing to do,' he said at a National Day reception. The remark was made ahead of an October 7 rally planned by about 40 groups, including civil service unions, over pay cuts and redundancies. Mr Wong said civil servants could get their message across via internal channels rather than taking to the streets. It was better for civil servants to 'speak less and work harder' as public confidence in them had dropped, he said. A recent survey by Lingnan University showed public confidence in civil servants had fallen from 51.2 per cent to 46.5 per cent. Mr Wong said given the tough times it was understandable that people were unhappy with the Government. But he rejected calls to cut senior civil servants' salary by 20 per cent. He said the Government had its own mechanism to review salaries. 'We should think carefully whether [pay cuts] could help revive our economy.'