Increments received by the Hospital Authortiy staff

1/6/2016

 

Following is a question by Professor Hon Joseph Lee and a written reply by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man, in the Legislative Council today (June 1):

Question:

     Quite a number of staff members of the nursing and allied health grades have complained to me that nurses and allied health professionals employed by the Hospital Authority (HA) on or after June 15, 2002 will not be granted an annual increment within the first two years following their promotion (increment freeze policy). However, prior to the implementation of such policy, staff members of such grades were entitled to an annual increment provided that their salaries had not reached the maximum pay points and their performance was satisfactory. These staff members are of the view that such policy is extremely unreasonable and has even led to the situation of different pay for the same work, hence seriously affecting their morale. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council if it knows:

(1) the number of staff members of the nursing and allied health grades employed by HA on or after June 15, 2002 and, among them, of the number of staff members who have been affected by the increment freeze policy, broken down by their grade, year of entry and year of promotion;

(2) the justifications for HA to implement the increment freeze policy; whether such policy is applicable to staff members in the nursing and allied health grades employed before June 15, 2002; if it is not, whether HA has assessed if such policy has created the problem of different pay for the same work;

(3) whether HA will consider abolishing the increment freeze policy so as to boost staff morale; if HA will, of the total expenditure involved and the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that; and

(4) regarding those staff members of the nursing and allied health grades who have been affected by the increment freeze policy, whether HA will consider making back payments to them to compensate for their loss of salary income as a result of the implementation of such policy; if HA will, of the total expenditure involved and the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

     My reply to the various parts of the question raised by Professor Hon Joseph Lee on matters relating to the increments received by the Hospital Authority (HA) staff is as follows:

(1) As at March 31, 2016, the number of nurses and allied health professionals employed by the HA on or after June 15, 2002 was 11 172 and 3 655 respectively.  Among them, 367 nurses and 617 allied health professionals were granted the increment after the first two years following their promotion.  Annex sets out the respective number of such staff, with a breakdown by grade, year of entry and year of promotion.

 Annex

(2) As a public organisation, the HA adjusts the terms of employment of its staff from time to time having regard to the subvention mechanism and market situation.  The existing policies on increment upon employment and promotion were decided by the HA after considering factors such as resource utilisation and management of staff performance at that time.  As the HA will not unilaterally vary the terms and conditions of employment of its existing staff, nurses and allied health professionals employed before June 15, 2002 will maintain their original terms of employment.

(3) and (4) The HA will review the remuneration of its staff from time to time and aims to improve their remuneration under limited resources in accordance with the principle of HA's service priority.  The HA is considering a review of the above-mentioned policy on increment upon promotion.  As the review is still at a preliminary stage, we cannot provide information regarding the scope of the review, its detailed timetable and expected expenditure involved for the time being.

 

 
Last Updated 2016-06-01