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2015 Starting Salaries Survey: application to the civil service

     The Government announced today (May 3) that the Chief Executive-in-Council (CE-in-Council) decided to accept the recommendations of the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service and the Standing Committee on Disciplined Services Salaries and Conditions of Service (SCDS) that the starting salaries of the civil service should remain unchanged.

     "At the invitation of the Government, the Standing Commission conducted the 2015 Starting Salaries Survey (SSS) and submitted its report to the Chief Executive in February this year. The survey findings indicated that, except for Qualification Group (QG) 8 (Degree and Related Grades), the differences between the existing benchmark pay of most QGs and the upper quartile level of market pay were insignificant," a spokesperson for the Civil Service Bureau said.

     "Having regard to the experiences in the last two SSSs, the Standing Commission recommended that a holistic approach (as opposed to the mechanical application of survey findings) should continue to be adopted. The considerations involved included the policy objective to maintain a 'broad comparability' between civil service and private sector pay, the inherent differences between the civil service and the private sector and their uniqueness, the nature of the SSS, the attractiveness and stability of civil service pay, the inherent discrepancies in statistical surveys and the elements of chance, and wider community interests.

     "Under the holistic approach, the Standing Commission recommended that the starting salaries of all civilian civil service grades should remain unchanged. Having reviewed the survey findings, the SCDS also recommended no change to the starting salaries of the disciplined services.

     "Having considered the views of different stakeholders, the CE-in-Council decided that the recommendations of the Standing Commission and the SCDS should be accepted. Moreover, considering the significant difference between the benchmark pay of QG 8 and the upper quartile level of market pay, and that the market starting pay of this QG has consistently recorded a relatively large dispersion and a low growth rate, the CE-in-Council agreed that a specific study on QG 8 should be conducted to understand its distinctive features and characteristics, so as to better prepare for the next round of the SSS," the spokesperson explained.

     "The Government is very grateful for the time and effort the Standing Commission and the SCDS have devoted. We are also grateful to the staff sides and other stakeholders for their valuable opinions on how the 2015 SSS findings should be applied to the civil service," the spokesperson said.

     Under the Improved Civil Service Pay Adjustment Mechanism, the SSS should be conducted on a triennial basis. At present, non-directorate civilian civil service grades are grouped into 11 QGs having regard primarily to the educational qualification requirements. Generally speaking, each QG has one benchmark pay, and the SSS seeks to ascertain whether it is broadly comparable to the entry pay of jobs in the private sector requiring similar qualifications.

Ends/Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Issued at HKT 16:30


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