Salary rise targets low earners

Friday July 19, 2019 Written by Published in National

The lowest-paid government workers are those who will benefit from this month’s salary increase, the Prime Minister says.

 

The pay rise, next week, has been approved for police, prison officers, and other justice, transport and agriculture employees.

Henry Puna said the adjustments targeted primarily the low earners. But the heads of these agencies do have discretion to adjust the pay of other employees as their budget permits. “I’m sure there is quite a substantial increase in the budget for all the agencies to allow the heads to make those adjustments as they see fit.”

The rate of the increase and its total cost to taxpayers is undisclosed as Puna said they had not put a specific figure on it.

The salary review was done by the Public Service Commission in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and with Strategic Pay, a New Zealand company.

“They did the detailed study and research to come up with these adjustments,” Puna said.

The adjustment is part of a three-year roll-out of pay increases: next year comes health workers, the Pa Enua, and those in environment and cultural development. The following year is teachers and the rest of the government ministries

In total, 435 public servants will benefit from the pay rises.

“I’m pleased, with the improvement in our economy, government is now able to offer a much improved remuneration package to all our workers and I want to assure all government workers that not only the workers of these five ministries will be getting their increase, the increment will be applied to other ministries and by 2021-22 all of government workers will be on improved rates.”

Puna also said he had been assured by Public Service Commissioner Russell Thomas that this salary adjustment would extend beyond 2021/22.

The new salary structure provides for a minimum government salary of $15,057 with a mid-point at $17,500 up to $19,950. The maximum at the top band is $78,469 within the standard structure of the remuneration framework.

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