A unionist lawmaker on Wednesday said it would be more appropriate for the government to give its civil servants pay rises of between three and four percent, instead of the 2.5 percent increase proposed by the Executive Council.
Speaking on RTHK's Hong Kong Today programme, Lam Chun-sing, from the Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions, said he was disappointed by Exco's proposals, which didn't take into account inflation, staff morale or the fact that civil servants had seen their wages frozen for the previous two years.
"The government always said that Hong Kong's economy had been facing a complex situation under the fifth wave of the pandemic and also faced some uncertainties in the future; only these issues," he told RTHK's Samantha Butler.
"But the government did not consider other factors. For example: the cost of living, the inflation and the increase in the Consumer Price Index. The lower-grade civil service staff also suffer a lot, and they do not have a salary increase in the past two years, the facts of the morale of civil servants."
He said he hoped a meeting between officials and civil service groups later on Wednesday would lead to modifications to the proposals.
The government-appointed Pay Trend Survey Committee had earlier suggested salary increases of 2.04 percent for junior civil servants, 4.55 percent for middle-ranking workers and 7.26 percent for senior staff.
Making the announcement on Tuesday, Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung said the decision to offer 2.5 percent was made after taking into account factors including the economy, cost of living, the government’s fiscal position, staff morale, pay trends in the private market and views from workers.
Yeung said the Chief Executive-in-Council would listen to views from staff and make a final decision. Once approved by the Legislative Council, the salary adjustment will be backdated to April 1, 2022.