By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The SAR Government will give a 9.5 percent pay raise to MOP 23 per hour to its outsourcing cleaning and building security workers, and also increase the aged pension to MOP 2,000 monthly.
The Standing Committee for the Coordination of Social Affairs has reached a consensus yesterday and will submit a formal proposal to the Government shortly.
Coordinator of the standing committee, Shuen Ka Hung, told reporters after a meeting that after a chief executive dispatch is published on the Official Gazette and comes into effect, all the Government departments that are using outsourcing cleaning and building security services will be required to renew the contracts with the related companies within three months.
The daily and monthly wages will therefore adjust correspondingly from MOP 168 to MOP 184 and from MOP 4,368 to MOP 4,784.
The current minimum wage of the workers is set at MOP 21 an hour, effective from September 1, 2007.
Shuen could not provide the total number of workers that will benefit from the pay rise.
According to the official, the new pay level was proposed by the Government in yesterday’s meeting, adding that the representatives from both the employer and employee sides agreed with the increase and voted in favour of the proposal “quickly”.
When asked whether MOP 23 would be used as a reference for the city-wide minimum wage system that the Government would like to implement eventually in the future, Shuen stressed that “these are completely two different things and cannot be mixed together”.
He explained that the 9.5 percent increase was calculated based on the economic performance, and also the low-income subsidy scheme, which now has an income limit of MOP 4,400 per month.
Since the outsourcing cleaning and security workers currently earn MOP 4,368 per month, Shuen said after the 9.5 percent increase their wages will grow to MOP 4,784 and thus do not need to apply for the low-income subsidy.
Meanwhile, the Social Security Fund (FSS) director Ip Peng Kin also announced that the standing committee is going to propose the Government raises the pension for the elderly and the disabled from MOP 1,700 to MOP 2,000, and also the social relief pension from MOP 1,115 to MOP 1,310 per month, starting April.
A chief executive dispatch to reflect the adjustments is expected to be promulgated this month.
Ip said the standing committee yesterday had not yet discussed how much the monthly contributions from employers and employees will need to increase by in order to support the sustainability of the FSS, but stressed that the committee members were “very much concerned” about it.
He added that the increase has taken into consideration the estimated 4 percent inflation for the whole year of 2011 and also social demands.
On the other hand, in response to the bribery allegations against Sands China, Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen told reporters the SAR Government has already started an investigation “into the matters having been mentioned in news reports”, including an analysis on the report submitted by the gaming operator in relation to the current US investigation.