The administration and political parties say civil service unions are out of touch Demands by civil service unions for pay cuts to be halted next year were dismissed, with the government and all main political parties yesterday saying the calls were 'totally unrepresentative' of civil servants. The strong reaction came after the South China Morning Post reported that the Civil Service General Union and the Hong Kong Senior Government Officers' Association had demanded a halt to the second stage of the planned pay cut next year because of the improving economy and pay rises in the private sector. But Secretary for the Civil Service Joseph Wong Wing-ping dismissed the demand, saying the government had 'absolutely no intention' to halt the pay cut as a consensus had already been reached with unionists and put into law.'This sort of demand and opinion is totally unrepresentative of the vast majority of civil servants. I hope the public clearly understands that the vast majority of civil servants are reasonable and know how to behave. They would not raise demands which are unreasonable and will offend the public. 'I hope representatives of individual civil service unions will hold their status dear and consider the interests of the overall public and civil service and the image of civil servants.' But Felix Cheung Kwok-biu, chairman of the Civil Service General Union, yesterday repeated the demand, saying the government should halt the pay cut since the economy had improved. Civil servants have already received a 3 per cent pay cut starting from January under the agreement made last year. The second stage, featuring another 3 per cent cut, will be implemented next year. Political parties yesterday criticised the unions' moves, saying their demands were out of step with the consensus reached. James Tien Pei-chun, chairman of the Liberal Party, said rather than halting the pay cut, the money should be used for tax relief for the middle class. 'This may only be the view of some civil service union leaders. I don't believe the majority of civil servants would make such unreasonable demands,' Mr Tien said. Both the Democratic Party's Cheung Man-kwong and Ip Kwok-him of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong said there was no room to amend the pay-cut legislation.