Starting Salaries Survey (SSS)
In line with the decision of the Chief Executive (CE)-in-Council made in 2007 that a SSS should be conducted every three years, the Administration invited the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service (Standing Commission) to conduct the 2009 SSS, using 1 April 2009 as the reference date. The qualification benchmark method (adopted in the 1999 Starting Salaries Review and 2006 SSS) was used by the Standing Commission in the 2009 SSS.
The findings of the survey indicated that the benchmark salary for Qualification Group (QG)9 (degree and related grades) was significantly above the entry pay for jobs in the private sector requiring similar educational qualification for appointment. The Standing Commission henceforth recommended the benchmark salary for QG9 should be reduced by two pay points, and correspondingly, the starting salaries of 37 civilian grades (including 26 grades in QG9, five in QG11 and six in QG12) requiring degree qualification for appointment should be reduced by two pay points. The Standing Commission also recommended that the benchmarks for QGs1 to 8 and QG10 should remain unchanged.
On 18 May 2010, the CE-in-Council endorsed the findings of the 2009 SSS and the recommendations of the Standing Commission (PDF format). The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council (LegCo) approved the revised benchmark salary for QG9 and the revised starting salaries of 37 degree-qualification civilian grades on 2 July 2010. The new starting salaries apply to newly recruited civil servants who are offered appointment to the concerned civilian grades on or after 1 October 2010, and serving civil servants on in-service transfer from one grade to one of these civilian grades from that date. For details of the application of the findings of the 2009 SSS to concerned civilian grades in the civil service, please refer to the relevant LegCo Establishment Subcommittee paper (PDF format).
The Administration commissioned the Consultant engaged in the conduct of the 2006 Pay Level Survey to also conduct a SSS, using 1 April 2006 as the reference date. The qualification benchmark method (adopted in the 1999 Starting Salaries Review) was used by the Consultant in the 2006 SSS.
On 15 May 2007, the CE-in-Council endorsed the findings of the 2006 SSS (PDF format) and the application (PDF format) of its results to the civil service. With the approval of the LegCo Finance Committee on 6 July 2007, the new starting salaries took effect on 1 August 2007. For details of the application of the findings of the 2006 SSS to the civil service, please refer to the relevant LegCo Establishment Subcommittee paper. In view of the periodic conduct of the SSS, with effect from 1 August 2007 when the new starting salaries came into effect, all reference pay scales were abolished.
The CE-in-Council also decided that a SSS should be conducted every three years where the next SSS would be conducted using 1 April 2009 as the reference date.
1999 Starting Salaries Review
Prior to the implementation of the Improved Civil Service Pay Adjustment Mechanism in 2007, the Administration commissioned the Standing Commission to conduct a review of starting salaries in the Civil Service in 1998. The results of the review showed that civil service entry pay had outstripped that in the private market. To bring the civil service entry pay more in line with the market entry pay, benchmarks for most of the 12 QGs of the civilian grades were lowered by 6% to 31% and those for the disciplined grades were lowered by 3% to 17%. There was no change to the maximum points of the basic ranks and the pay beyond entry level.
The revised benchmarks and starting salaries took effect on 1 April 2000 for new recruits and serving staff on transfer.
Following the revision of the starting salaries for the civil service in 2000, an officer who was offered an appointment to a basic rank on or after 1 April 2000 was remunerated on a delinked starting salary on the relevant reference pay scale. He would remain on that pay point on the reference pay scale until he qualified for an increment after which he would join the respective pay scale and move along the relevant scale in subsequent years subject to satisfactory performance.