27 May 2009

Tonga's PSC says vital services will not be cut due to pay rise

10:26 am on 27 May 2009

The Public Service Commission in Tonga says a 10 percent pay rise for civil servants won't be paid for by cuts to vital services.

The government has approved the pay adjustment as part of a review that will see entitlements to sick leave drop from 48 days to 15 per year, and annual leave from 26 days to 20.

The Public Servants Association says its concerned because its heard that government ministries will have to make cuts from their current budgets to fund the pay rise.

But the chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Mishka Tuifua says the pay increase will be paid for from savings to the payroll budget, that will come from a reduction in sick days and holidays.

"If we're reducing paid absence of public servants then we expect them to be attending work much more often. So that's going to have some natural productivity gains for us. So I think the important thing is that the 10 percent salary adjustment is self-funding within the existing pay roll base."

Mishka Tuifua says they are now working to implement the pay strategy.