Provisional Legislative Council
Public Service Panel meeting
on 23 February 1998
Junior Police Officers?Pay Scales
The purpose of this paper is to brief Members on the proposal to adjust Junior Police Officers (JPOs) pay scales following a recent consultancy study on their claim for a pay review.
2. Since 1993, the Junior Police Officers Association (JPOA) have submitted several submissions asking the Administration to review the JPOs pay scale, on the ground that their duties had become more complex and yet their pay scale compared unfavourably with that of the Hawker Control Force (HCO). The submissions have been considered by us and the Standing Committee on Disciplined Services Salaries and Conditions of Service (SCDS) but rejected because they failed to establish sufficient grounds to justify a pay review.
3. In April 1997, the JPOA petitioned the former Governor to request the establishment of an independent Committee of Inquiry to investigate their pay claim. This was rejected but the then Civil Service Branch and the Force management were instructed to study the cause of the JPOA's grievances. In July 1997, the Force management submitted a full case for a pay review. This focussed on changes in JPOs duties. In August 1997, the Secretary for the Civil Service appointed a Consultant to conduct an independent examination into the case.
4. The Consultant submitted his report in October 1997. He re-affirmed our view that it was inappropriate to compare the JPOs pay scale with that of the HCOs and concluded that, although the scope and complexity of the JPOs role had increased since their last pay review in 1992, the increase was insufficient to warrant a full-scale pay review.
5. The Consultant found that the changes which had taken place had nevertheless been significant, had affected all JPOs and merited recognition. The major issues which he identified included the JPOs positive response to changes in service quality and management culture initiatives, changes in procedure arising from the enactment of various pieces of human rights legislation, changes to policing practices such as the approach to the control of demonstrations, the effect of the introduction of new technology, the adoption of new responsibilities following the departure of the British military forces, and their performance over the transition period.
6. The Consultant recommended that the maximum salary point of the Police Constable be raised by one point; both the minimum and maximum salary points of the Sergeant and Station Sergeant be raised by one point; the existing 4thincremental jump be awarded to Police Constables after five years service; and a new, 5th incremental jump, be awarded to Police Constables after six years service, subject to certain conditions being met. The estimated recurrent cost of implementing these recommendations was approximately $158 million per annum.
7. We agree with the Consultant that, although there was no case to request the SCDS to conduct a full-scale pay review, there had been increases in the scope and complexity of the JPOs work as well as in the skills and knowledge required of them. We also accept his observation that the increase in their duties and responsibilities over the past few years had been significant and that they should be recognized. However, we do not consider that all of the Consultant's recommendations are appropriate, bearing in mind that currently there is no recruitment or retention problem at JPO level.
8. After considering all the circumstances, we propose that the maximum salary points of the Police Constable, Sergeant and Station Sergeant should be increased by one point. We consider this to be appropriate and fair, given the increase in the complexity of their tasks and level of responsibilities, and the importance of maintaining the morale and enthusiasm of JPOs. This proposal will enable the majority of JPOs in all three ranks to benefit from a modest pay award.
9. The estimated additional expenditure required to implement this proposal will be $98.5 million in a full year. About $70 million of this will be met through efficiency savings identified within the Police.
10. We intend to seek the advice of the Establishment Sub-Committee and Finance Committee for implementation of the proposal in the normal way. Subject to their approval, the JPOs pay scale will be adjusted with effect from 1 April 1998.
Requests from Other Disciplined Services
11. The other disciplined services are likely to submit similar requests for their pay scales to be adjusted. Any such requests will be examined on their merit.
Civil Service Bureau
13 February 1998