Civil servants face lowest pay rise in six years

Top News | Phoenix Un 19 May 2017

Civil servants should get pay rises of between 1.38 percent and 2.44 percent this fiscal year, the Pay Trend Survey Committee recommended in the lowest raise since 2011.

The increase is based on a survey of 111 private companies covering 156,238 employees from April 2 last year to April 1 this year.

Of those, lower-ranked staff earning below HK$21,255 a month received an average 3.78 percent raise, while middle-ranked personnel earning HK$21,255 to HK$65,150 got 3.51 percent. Top staff earning HK$65,150 or above got 2.53 percent, according to the committee's report issued yesterday.

After discounting the pay increment that civil servants usually receive annually, the actual pay rises recommended for civil servants would be 1.82 percent for the lower salary band, 2.44 percent for the middle band and 1.38 for the upper band.

With the recommended pay rise hitting a seven-year low, committee chairman Wilfred Wong Kam-pui said the figures just reflected the information the surveyed companies had submitted.

"The survey actually collected data from the private sector, and the survey truly reflects what the private sectors submitted to the committee," Wong said yesterday.

The government will usually peg the final percentage increase for the lower band to the middle band increase of 2.44 percent.

This is much lower than last year's 4.68 percent increase, which was backdated to April 1, 2016. Last year, the committee recommended 3.08 percent for junior civil servants, 4.68 for the middle band and 4.19 percent for the upper band.

Employee representatives need to consult members' opinions and the committee will meet again next Thursday to validate the results. The Civil Service Bureau will then submit the recommendations to the Executive Council, which will make the final decision after examining the report and considering it with other factors.

A representative of the Staff Side of the Senior Civil Service Council on the committee, Steven Wong Hung-lok, said he was disappointed. "We took reference from human resources reports by other companies and we had expected the increase to be a bit higher than the inflation rate. It should be 3 percent or above."

Another representative, Li Kwai- yin, said the lower pay rise could affect staff morale.

Government Employees Association Chairman Suen Ming-fung pointed out that turnover of civil servants was at a 15-year high of 0.65 percent.

Alexa Chow Yee-ping, managing director at AMAC Human Resources Consultants, said the survey collected information mostly from large companies, many of which had low salary hikes last year.

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