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):
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;
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
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 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.
(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.