Our Ref. : BP 6/25
12 January 2006
Development of an improved pay adjustment mechanism for the civil service : Conduct of the pay level survey
In December last year, I informed you that the Phase Two Consultant has issued the Interim Report on the Conduct of a Pay Level Survey setting out the detailed approach for carrying out the job inspection process for civil service benchmark jobs. In the Report, the Consultant has recommended inter alia that the reference date of the current survey (i.e. the date on which to compare civil service pay with private sector pay) be set on April 1, 2006.
Taking account of the Consultant's advice as well as the feedback we received from staff bodies during the consultation in September and October 2005, we have accepted the Consultant's recommendation on the survey reference date. Given that the current pay level survey will capture the private sector pay level as at April 1, 2006, the Government has now decided that there should be no annual pay trend survey for 2005-06. We shall consider the next civil service pay adjustment in 2006 when the findings of the current pay level survey are available.
The Legislative Council Brief setting out the details of the above decisions and the Consultant's Interim Report are available at the CSB website.
As regards the application of the pay level survey results, we have earlier proposed, in broad terms, that if the survey results reveal that the civil service pay levels exceed the private sector pay levels, we should freeze the pay of serving officers at the prevailing level until it is caught up by the private sector pay level. But the disparity will be noted and will be taken into account, together with other relevant factors, in the subsequent annual civil service pay adjustment exercises before the next pay level survey. Based on the results of the pay level survey and other relevant factors, we will draw up new pay scales for application to new recruits who join the civil service after a prospective date. This is still our position. When the survey findings are available, we shall consider the detailed proposals on the application of the pay level survey results, and shall further consult colleagues in due course.
I shall keep you informed of the progress of the pay level survey.
(Joseph W P Wong)
Secretary for the Civil Service