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PNG Civil Servants Get Pay Rise
Source: THE NATIONAL/PACNEWS
Source Date: Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Country: Papua New Guinea
Created: Dec 31, 2013

Civil servants in Papua New Guinea will get 7.5% pay increases annually for the next three years under an agreement signed in Port Moresby in Port Moresby last Friday.
 
Two other agreements resulted from the extensive negotiations between the Department of Personnel Management (DPM) and the Public Employees Association (PEA) over the past five months, a senior government official said.
 
The agreements represent significant improvements in the terms and conditions of public servants over the next three years starting Jan 1, 2014. 
 
The agreements signed were on salaries and allowances and other benefits, on redundancy and retrenchment in the civil service and on the maintenance of harmonious industrial relations. 
 
According to a joint statement, the agreement on salaries and allowances and other benefits provided for general increases to the salary scales of public servants averaging 7.5% per annum from 2014 to 2016.
The agreement includes a threshold clause to protect the real value of earnings from excessive inflation during the period.
 
Secretary John Kali clarified that teachers and police officers were excluded from the salary increase because they had already received the same rate of increase to their salaries under the Police and Teachers Acts respectively through the agreements signed by their unions. 
 
“The salary structure is performance-based and provides for annual increments related to improving and above-average performance,” Kali said.
 
“The agreement clarifies the application of maternity and paternity leave and the Christmas shutdown period.”

Kali said the government was committed to consult the unions on the future development of a home ownership scheme and the introduction of a contributory life insurance and medical benefits scheme.
 
The MOA on redundancy and retrenchment in the public service replaced the earlier agreement made in 2007 and provides continuity in the payment of ex-gratia payments at times of retrenchment as declared by the DPM secretary. 
 
The agreement clarified that retrenchment benefits were not payable to retiring public servants.
 
The parties further explained in the statement that the MOU on the maintenance of harmonious industrial relations sets out the basic understanding on the rights and interests of the state as employer and association as the sole bargaining agent for salaries and conditions on behalf of public servants. 
 
Meanwhile, workers on minimum wages in Papua New Guinea are experiencing an alarming decline in their share of the nation’s income, a senior trade union official says.
 
PNG Trade Union Congress general secretary John Paska said last Friday that despite the biggest economic boom since independence, the living standards of minimum wage workers had gone backwards for most of the past two decades while profits had taken an ever-increasing share of national income.
 
He said the share of the national income going to wages was now at 12.1%, which was shocking.
 
“In the 1980s and the early 1990s it was at 40% equal with the share going to profits. Now, 75.5% goes to profits.”.

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