Cabinet members’ cost of living pay rise condemned by PSA

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Cabinet members have been awarded their first pay rise since 2015.

Their pay rise excludes any back pay for the past two years.

The five percent cost of living allowance (COLA) pay increase was agreed last week and was deemed to have come into effect on July 1.

According to a press release from the Prime Minister’s office, the decision to award the pay increase was prompted by the increase in the income tax imposed on Cabinet Minister’s annual salary by 24%, from July 1 this year.

In 2015, Cabinet resolved that only civil servants would be awarded with a five percent cost of living allowance.

The Ministers’ entitlements were put on hold for now two years.

In 2005, civil servants were awarded a range of salary adjustment of between 60 and 80 percent.

This was followed by another 10% cost of living allowance in 2009, a six percent increase in 2014 and five percent in 2015.

Tonga Public Service Association secretary Mele ‘Amanaki condemned the pay rise and called on cabinet to rescind their pay rise and give a five percent pay rise to public servants.

The PSA has been fighting with the government over cost of living allowances and the implementation of new public service salary structures.

The current Crown Employees (Public Service – Salaries 2016) Award expired on  June 30, 2017.

“Have the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice forgotten what we fought for in 2005? Fair distribution of benefits in government?” ‘Amanaki asked.

She said the Association had fought for pay increases for workers at the lower end of the pay scale.

Pay rises at the bottom of the pay scale would be “peanuts” compared with the cost of cabinet salaries.

“How greedy can one be?” Ananaki  said.

“’Alu atu e Kapineti, moe me’a tatau.”

The main points

  • Cabinet members have been awarded their first pay rise since 2015.
  • Their pay rise excludes any back pay for the past two years.
  • Tonga Public Service Association secretary Mele Ananaki condemned the pay rise and called on cabinet to rescind their pay rise and give a five percent pay rise to public servants.
  • She said the Association had fought for pay increases for workers at the lower end of the pay scale.

For more information 

Public Service Association

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