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New Public Service Remuneration Structure Approved by the Government of Tonga

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13th July 2016 TONGAN By Cabinet decision on Friday 8 July, 2016, the Government of Tonga confirmed the implementation of the Remuneration Authority’s recommended new remuneration structure. This is to be established for all public servants and publicly paid positions. It replaces a 34 year old remuneration structure used by the Tonga Government since 1982.

 

The Authority’s recommendations were in the First Remuneration Report of June 2014 (for 1340 positions under the Remuneration Authority Act), and the Second Remuneration Report of September 2015 (for 3560 positions under the Public Service Act). Following several rounds of consultations across all Ministries and Government entities, followed by an open process for the filing of individual concerns and re-evaluation of positions, the two Reports were updated to 01
July 2016 and submitted to the Cabinet.

All 5,054 public servants and publicly paid positions have now successfully been migrated into the new remuneration structure. There is no decrease or reduction in any of their salaries. On the first pay day of the new financial year, 13 July 2016, salaries will be paid out from within the pay scales of the new structure.

For those 3,560 positions under the Public Service Commission, 3,407 (95%) were moved into a new salary band where the new maximum salary point is higher than present. For these public servants their salaries either remain the same or a slight increase. Further increases in salaries will now be based on annual performance. Only 4% of all public servants (numbering 153) when moved into the new salary band has a lower new maximum point than present.

Of the 3,560 positions under the Public Service Commission, 561 positions, mainly those at the very bottom of the public service, have been moved up to a new minimum salary of $6,720 and $7,560 per annum.

During the open process for the filing of individual concerns and re-evaluation of positions, the Public Service Commission received 821 individual requests (23%). These requests were mainly from Doctors and Nurses at the Ministry of Health, and other public servants stating they were not being paid enough for the work they were doing, and/or their Job Descriptions should be re-evaluated. A hundred and thirty seven (137) of these concerns were agreed to by the Remuneration Authority and Public Service Commission, while 684 were not. The Public Service Commission will be reporting back to each Ministry with the results of the re-evaluation. This new structure provides an opportunity for annual review where concerns can be filed to the Public Service Commission by individual employees.

The Cabinet did not approve the Remuneration Authority’s recommendation that the basic salary for the position of the Prime Minister be increased from the 2014 figure of $94,500 to $100,000.

The Cabinet’s decision was to keep the Prime Minister’s basic salary unchanged, and fixed at its current level of $95,400. This decision also applied to all other Cabinet Ministers’ current salaries.The public service wide 5% COLA increase in December 2015 was not applied to Cabinet Ministers’ positions.

This shift to a new remuneration structure has been many years in the making. A previous attempt to reform the Government’s remuneration structure in 2005 ended in a public service worker strike and an unchanged structure.

This is a landmark in the Government’s efforts for real and lasting public sector reform, and for better delivery of services to the public. The Cabinet’s approval for implementation marks the beginning of a performance-based service delivery.

Now that all public servants are under one system, from the position of Prime Minister to the position of Caretaker, the focus must now move to better performance and better services to the public. Performance is now the only way to justify increases in pay, as opposed to the automatic annual increases in the old system.

The Public Service Commission and the Remuneration Authority look forward to continuing its work to support the implementation of the new remuneration structure, and for the realization of the benefits of a properly remunerated, more efficient, accountable and productive public sector.

The Remuneration Authority and Public Service Commission will shortly be interviewed on this subject on Television Tonga, as also conduct talk-back radio shows this week. The July 01, 2016 updated Remuneration Report will be reprinted as directed by Cabinet, and will be made available thereafter on the PSC website (www.psc.gov.to).

For more information, please contact the:
1. Remuneration Authority Office at 28703 or by email:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
2. Public Service Commission at 25770 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 July 2016 15:31 )  

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