Friday, April 01, 2011

K100m windfall for public servants

Public servants to get hefty pay rise
THE government is putting an additional K100 million in the pay packets of all public servants, The National reports.
Cabinet approved the pay increase yesterday.
The increase “is better than they have been asking for” and would cover striking doctors as well, acting Prime Minister Sam Abal said last night.
Details of the deal will be presented by Public Services Minister Moses Maladina as soon as the details have been finalised.
Abal said: “The Somare government is conscious of the rise in cost of living in recent days. We have to keep up with the speed of things happening.
“We have decided to increase the pay packets of public servants across the board. I want public servants to respond positively to this by improving on their productivity, efficiency and effectiveness.”
Abal said: “Public servants should be happy but at the same time we are putting a challenge before them.
“This is the carrot but the stick will come later.”
While the exact terms are still being negotiated, Abal said the wages bill of the state would increase by more than K100 million.
The bill for salaries and emoluments for this year was projected in the National Budget at K2.494 billion, an increase of K541.3 million compared with last year.
The largest increase in personnel emoluments for national departments this year was attributed to hospital management services (K16.8 million), Correctional Services (K17.4 million) as well as full superannuation funding of K220 million.
The K100 million announced yesterday was additional to the projected increase.
Abal said the government was overhauling and streamlining the entire public service general orders, including the pay structure.
Where legislative changes are required, the necessary bills will be drafted and go before the next sitting of parliament in May, Abal said.
Public servants are still owed a 6% across-the-board salary increase by their employer but Abal indicated the deal approved by the government was superior.
At the same time, he called on striking doctors to return to work and let the industrial machinery to sort out their grievances.
He said the government was responding positively and doctors should respect this.
He said: “Something has gone wrong but we are reasonable. We will increase their pay rates.
“In return, they must come honest and serve the people.
“We should not be irresponsible and try to coerce or force by intimidation and threats.
“That is for people with less intelligence, not professionals like doctors.”

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