Tonga reviews recently upgraded civil service salaries
The Tonga government is prepared to spend 2-POINT-5 million US dollars on an review into the salaries of the civil service.
The Tonga government could spend 2-POINT-5 million US dollars on a review into the civil servant salaries they only just increased.
The project began last year looking at the judiciary and parliament and has since moved on to look at what civil servants receive.
The work comes after the government recently approved over 2 million dollars for a civil service pay rise in their first budget.
The Minister of Finance 'Aisake Eke told Koro Vaka'uta the Remuneration Authority is conducting the work.
'AISAKE EKE: They are now completing the review of the job descriptions of all the civil servants and they are planning to submit to cabinet a report in October. The implementation will be dated back to start from July 1 this financial year which of course last month.
KORO VAKA'UTA: You mentioned that there could be implementation backdated, how would that work if salaries were too high?
AE: The methodology that they have used is basically those who are currently in post whose salaries they evaluated is higher than the job they are doing they will maintain that salary level but where the post is vacant and the new one takes up the job, that's when the new salary scale will be applied. For those whose salary scales is below the workload they are carrying now, they will be elevated to a higher scale.
KV: When was this project launched?
AE: This work was started last year. In fact the Remuneration Authority came into this last year but before they were working on the review of the salary scales for those outside the civil service, for example the parliament and also the judiciary and also the public enterprises. We already provide the provision of about five million pa'anga, the current estimate approved by the parliament in July and January to start the new financial year. The plan was to start the implementation of the new salary structure for the civil servants in July, so that was the plan. Apparently there were some ministries who hadn't completed providing the job descriptions to the authority in order to carry out their task. That's why there is the delay to allow those outstanding ministries to provide information to enable the Remuneration Authority to complete the task. That's why we gave them an extension of three months. Instead of July, we give them up to September to finish the task. They will submit their report in October but the payments will be dated back to July 1.
KV: Around 2.2 million US, that covers the cost of the exercise. Is that not exorbitant or does this task just have to be done?
AE: We have consulted with them and this is the amount we have provided and I think what they will come up with will be within the amount. What they have done, they already proposing about US$600,000 to cover what they have already done so the remaining part is basically where the bulk of the 2.5 (million) US dollars will be used for.
To embed this content on your own webpage, cut and paste the following: