Civil service groups have called for pay talks with Chief Executive John Lee, saying they're disappointed with the proposed 2.5 percent increase for all staff.
After a meeting between union groups and civil service chief Ingrid Yeung on Wednesday, a member of the police council, Lam Chi-wai of the Junior Police Officers' Association, said the public may want to criticise the pay adjustment mechanism or underperforming civil servants, but they should also be fair in assessing the majority of the team's contributions, especially that of the police.
"You can't wipe out the contributions of the majority of civil servants to the stability of Hong Kong in the past few years during the 'black riots' and Covid. This is something I can't accept," Lam said.
He said the council and and disciplinary forces representatives don't normally speak to the press on pay because he thinks it should be internal, but decided to do so this time because he considered criticism against civil servants, especially the police, to be unfair.
Lam added that the Junior Police Officers' Association hopes the government will follow the established mechanism of the pay trend survey indicators.
Two other groups, the Model Scale 1 Staff Consultative Council and the Disciplined Services Consultative Council, said the pay hike should at least be pegged to inflation levels in recent years.
Civil service pay has been frozen in the past two years.
Senior Civil Service Council member Li Kwai-yin, from the Chinese Civil Servants' Association, noted that political appointees already saw pay increases that caught up with inflation.
"We [hope] civil servants can follow the pay adjustment pattern of the appointees, otherwise the morale of civil servants will be negatively affected by the slim pay rise of 2.5 percent," she said.
Announcing the latest pay proposal on Tuesday, the government said the pay trend survey was not the sole consideration for adjustments, saying it also considered factors such as the economy and the administration's fiscal position.
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.