PSA and authority clash over claims office cleaners will be paid more than public servants

    Parliamentary drivers and office cleaners will be paid more than highly qualified public servants under new guidelines from the kingdom’s Remuneration Authority, the Public Service Association claimed today.

    In a statement sent to the media, the PSA claimed that the pay scales recommended by the Authority were unfair and worse than the ones that triggered a strike by the PSA in 2005.

    However, the Remuneration Authority has hit back, describing the PSA’s press release as full of “gross falsehoods” and claiming that it had actually recommended cutting Parliamentary workers’ salaries.

    The authority said it was legally required to be fair to public servants, private sector workers, the Ministries, Tongan taxpayers and taxpayers in countries which helped the government pay salaries.

    The Authority conducted a review of PSA salaries under the direction of the Public Services Commission.

    It issued two reports, one in June 2014 covering the PM, government ministers, judges, Members of Parliament, Police, members of the armed forces, prison and fire officers, all Public Enterprise CEOs, boards, commissions, authorities, tribunals and certain senior government executive positions and one in September 2015, covering all public servants in government ministries.

    PSA Secretary General, Mele ‘Amanaki said her association “violently rejected” the Authorities recommendations because they were unfair.

    “A driver ($27,046), security officer ($21,679), office cleaner ($21,679) and groundsman ($21,679) with no academic qualifications and minimal job responsibilities in Parliament have higher salaries than some of the positions in the Public Service with more job responsibilities for public servants who are Master’s, Bachelor’s and Diploma graduates, who earn between $10,000 – $26,000,” ‘Amanaki said.

    She said that under the Authority’s proposal the salaries of Town and District Officers were still at the bottom of the scale.

    “We are aware that the PSC, RA and the Hon. Minister of Finance are pushing for the RA Reports to be approved by Cabinet for implementation in July 2016 despite the submission by majority of the CEOs in the Public Service recommending for the reports to be deferred for proper consultations,” she said.

    She said the review should be done again by properly trained staff

    “We do not want to repeat what had happened in 2005,” ‘Amanaki said.

    In a three page rebuttal, the Remuneration Authority said the PSA’s statements were false and misleading.

    In a statement to the media, it said the reports were still with Cabinet and not yet been approved.

    It said claims that Town and District Officer’s new salaries would  be at the bottom of the scale were false and that it had actually recommended increasing payment to these officers because the nature and responsibilities of these roles had changed significantly since the last evaluation in 1982.

    The Remuneration Authority said the nature and responsibilities of these positions had changed significantly since 1982 (when the last evaluation was done).

    The Authority also denied that Ministry CEO’s were opposed to the recommendations.

    “The majority of CEOs actually recommended further consultation to be provided to be more inclusive of all their staff before April 15, 2016,” the Authority said.

    “In fact, subject to certain CEO conditions being met (including another nine percent cost of living allowance for public servants), they actually recommended the Remuneration Authority’s Reports, and recommendations be made effective from July 1, 2016.”

    The PSA has issued a Notice of Employment Dispute over the issue.

    The main points

    • Parliamentary drivers and office cleaners will be paid more than highly qualified public servants under new guidelines from the kingdom’s Remuneration Authority, the Public Service Association claimed today.
    • In a statement sent to the media, the PSA claimed that the pay scales recommended by the Authority were unfair and worse than the ones that triggered a strike by the PSA in 2005.
    • However, the Remuneration Authority has hit back, describing the PSA’s press release as full of “gross falsehoods” and claiming that it had recommended cutting Parliamentary workers’ salaries.
    • The Authority conducted a review of PSA salaries under the direction of the Public Services Commission.

    1 COMMENT

    1. Fepaki e Maʻu Mafai ki he Vāhengá mo e PSA he tukuakiʻi ʻoku laka e vāhenga ia ʻo kiliná he kau ngāue fakapuleʻangá.

      ʻE laka e vahe ia ʻa e kau fakaʻuli ʻa e Fale Aleá mo e kilina he ngaahi ʻōfisí ʻi he vahe ʻa kinautolu kau ngāue fakapuleʻanga maʻu tohi fakamoʻoni akó ʻi he fokotuʻutuʻu foʻou kuo tuku mai mei he Maʻu Mafai ki he Vāhengá ʻa e puleʻangá , ko e lau ʻeni ʻa e ʻAsosieisini ʻa e Kau Ngāue Fakapuleʻangá pe PSA.

      ʻI ha fakamatala ne tuku atu ki he mītiá ne pehē ʻe he PSA ʻoku ʻikai fea ʻa e sikeili vāhenga kuo tuku mai ʻe he Maʻu Mafaí pea ʻoku kovi ange ia ʻi he sikeili vāhenga ne tupu ai e tukungāue ʻo e 2005.

      Ka neongo iá kuo taaʻi fakafoki ʻe he Maʻu Mafaí e lau ko ʻení ʻo ne pehē ʻi ha fakamatala tuku ange he ʻahó ni ko e fakamatala ʻa e PSA ʻoku fonu fasituʻu mo ne pehē ne fokotuʻu ʻe he Maʻu Mafaí ia ke tuʻusi hifo ʻa e ngaahi vāhenga e kau ngāue faka-Fale Aleá.

      Pehē ʻe he Maʻu Mafaí ʻoku fiemaʻu fakalao ke fea e fokotuʻutuʻú ki he kau ngāue fakapuleʻangá, kau ngāue ʻi he sekitoa taautahá, ngaahi Potungāué , kau Tonga totongi tukuhaú mo e kau totongi tukuhau ʻi he ngaahi fonua oku nau tokoniʻi ʻa hono totongi ʻo e ngaahi vāhenga ʻo e puleʻangá.

      Naʻe fakahoko ʻe he Maʻu Mafaí hano liviu pe toe vakaiʻi e tuʻunga vāhenga ʻo e kau ngāue fakapuleʻangá ʻi ha loto ki ai ʻa e Komisoni ʻa e Kau Ngāue Fakapuleʻangá.

      Ne ne tuku mai ai ha līpooti ʻe ua, taha ʻi Sune 2014 ʻa ia ne kau ai ʻa e vāhenga ʻo e Palemiá, kau minisitaá, kau fakamāú, Kau Mēmipa Fale Aleá, Kau Polisí, Kau Tau ʻa ʻEne ʻAfió, Pilīsoné mo e Tāmate Afí, kau kotoa ki ai e kau CEO, kau mēmipa poate, kau komisiona , kau maʻu mafai, tulaipiunolo mo e kau ʻōfisa māʻolunga pau he puleʻangá, pea taha leva ne tuku mai ia ʻi Sepitema 2015 ʻa ia ne kau kotoa ki ai ʻa e ngāue fakapuleʻanga ʻo e ngaahi potungāué.

      Kuo pehē ʻe he Sekelitali Seniale ʻa e PSA Mele ʻAmanaki ʻoku mātuʻaki ʻikai tali ʻe heʻene kautahá ʻa e fokotuʻutuʻu vāhenga mai ʻa e Maʻu Mafaí he ʻoku ʻikai fea.

      Ko e vahe ʻa e fakaʻuli ($27,046), ōfisa sekulitií ($21,679), kilina he ʻōfisí ($21,679) kau tauhi malaʻe sipoti mo pāká ($21,679) ka ʻoku ʻikai haʻanau tohi fakamoʻoni ako pea ko e kiʻi ngāue fatongia siʻisiʻi ʻi Fale Aleá kuo laka ia ʻi he ngaahi vāhenga ʻi he ngāue fakapuleʻangá ʻoku lahi ange ʻenau ngāue ʻoku fai ki he kau ngāue fakapuleʻanga ʻoku ʻi ai honau mataʻitohi MA, BA pe Tipiloma ʻoku nau maʻu ʻa e paʻanga $10,000 pe $26,000 he taʻu”, ko e lau ia ʻa ʻAmanakí.

      Ne ne pehē ko e fokotuʻutuʻu ko ʻeni ʻa e Maʻu Mafaí ʻoku kei māʻolalo taha ai e vāhenga ʻo e kau ʻōfisa koló mo e kau pule fakavahé.

      ʻOku mau ʻilo pe ʻoku teke ʻe he PSC, RA mo e Minisitā Paʻangá ʻa e līpōtí ke tali ʻe he kapinetí ke fakahoko ʻi Siulai neongo ʻa e tohi atu ʻa e tokolahi ʻo e kau CEO he ngāue fakapuleʻangá ʻo fokotuʻu atu ke fakatatali ʻa e ongo līpōtí ke toe fai hano tālangaʻi, ko e lau ia ʻa ʻAmanakí.

      ʻOku ʻikai ke mau loto ke toe hoko e meʻa ne hoko he 2005, ko ʻAmanaki ia.

      ʻI ha fakamatala peesi 3 ne tuku mai ne pehē ai ʻe he Maʻu Mafaí ko e fakamatala ʻa e PSA naʻe ʻikai ke moʻoni pea taki hala.

      ʻI ha fakamatala ki he mītiá ne pehē ʻe he Maʻu Mafaí ko e līpōtí ʻoku kei ʻi he Kapinetí pea ʻoku teʻeki ke tali.

      Ne ne pehē ko e tukuakiʻi ko ia ʻoku ʻi he taupotu taha ki laló e vāhenga ʻo e kau ʻōfisa koló mo e pule fakavahé ʻoku taʻe moʻoni ia pea ne fokotuʻu ia ʻe he Maʻu Mafaí ke hiki hake koeʻuhī ko e liliu lahi ʻi he natula ʻo e ngaahi ngafa ʻoku huki tonu he ngaahi fatongia ko ʻení hili hono vakaiʻi fakamuimui ʻi he taʻu 1982.

      Naʻe fakaʻikaiʻi foki ʻe he Maʻu Mafaí ʻa e tukuakiʻi tokua ne fakafepakiʻi ʻe he kau CEO ʻa e fokotuʻutuʻu ko ʻeni ʻo e vāhenga foʻoú.

      Ko e meʻa ne fokotuʻu atu e he tokolahi ia ʻo e kau CEO ko hano toe aleaʻi lahi ange ke fakapapauʻi ʻoku kau mai ki ai ʻa ʻenau kau ngāué ki muʻa ʻi he ʻaho 15 ʻo ʻEpelelí, ko e lau ia ʻa e Maʻu Mafaí.

      Ko hono moʻoní fakatatau ki he kau CEO naʻa nau poupouʻi ʻe kinautolu e līpooti ʻa e maʻu mafaí ke kamata ʻi he ʻaho 1 ʻo Siulai 2016.

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