The Executive Council on Tuesday proposed a 2.87 percent pay increase for senior civil servants and a 4.65 percent rise for middle and lower-ranking staff.
Exco endorsed the results of the annual pay trend survey released earlier, which pointed to increases of 2.87 percent for senior staff, 4.65 percent for middle-ranking workers and 4.5 percent for junior colleagues.
The Secretary for the Civil Service, Ingrid Yeung, said the Executive Council had considered six factors, namely the annual pay trend survey, the state of the economy, the government's financial position, changes in the cost of living, pay claims from the staff side and civil service morale.
Last year's survey indicated pay rises of up to 7.26 percent, but the government eventually decided on 2.5 percent for all staff. Yeung said that had no bearing on this year's pay considerations.
"Every year, the Chief Executive in Council makes a decision based on all the six factors, and therefore in the year following, the factors in the previous year which had been taken into account already would not be considered again," she said.
"On the point of inflation, every year the Chief Executive in Council takes into consideration the change in cost of living. Last year, it had been taken into account. This year again, the new figures have been taken into account."
Yeung said the aim of adjusting civil service pay is not to keep up with inflation.
She said the proposal will be discussed with staff representatives on Wednesday, before a final decision is made.
The president of the Hong Kong Chinese Civil Servants' Association, Li Kwai-yin, said she was disappointed with the proposed rises as they do not help wages catch up with inflation.
Li said officials have failed to seize the opportunity to boost morale among government workers who have increased workloads due to labour shortages.
The Senior Government Officers Association also said the planned increases are disappointing.
It said officials have ignored the efforts of civil servants in serving the government and the public.
Unionist lawmaker Lam Chun-sing said the rises are acceptable, but the government should improve the welfare of civil servants in order to retain workers.