Channel of Consultation
There is a well-established consultative machinery within the civil service, comprising the Central Staff Consultative Councils and the Departmental Consultative Committees. Through this machinery, individual staff members, staff unions and staff groups can be consulted on a wide range of subjects such as conditions of service, working environment and various aspects of their work.
There are four Central Councils, namely the Senior Civil Service Council, the Model Scale 1 Staff Consultative Council, the Police Force Council and the Disciplined Services Consultative Council. Each Council comprises the Management Side and the Staff Side. Members of the Management Side come mainly from policy bureaux dealing with issues of staff concern whilst members of the Staff Side are all nominated by staff associations/unions. Meetings are held regularly to discuss issues of concern to staff.
It is the Government's policy to consult the Staff Sides of the Central Councils on any significant change to the terms and conditions of service which affects a substantial part of the service as a whole. Matters such as the annual pay adjustment, change to fringe benefits, measures to improve the overall efficiency of the Civil Service are discussed at the Central Councils.
Departments with more than 100 staff are encouraged to set up Departmental Consultative Committees comprising the departmental management (Management Side) and the staff representatives (Staff Side) who are elected by the staff themselves or nominated by their staff associations. A Civil Service Bureau representative also attends the Departmental Consultative Committees to explain Central Government's policies and practices and acts as a bridge between Central Government and departments.
The topics to be discussed by the Departmental Consultative Committees usually include issues specific to the department, for example:
Some departments also set up sub-committees to the Departmental Consultative Committee, such as the General Grades Consultative Committees, to facilitate communication between a particular group of staff and management.
- Papers for Legislative Council: