GOVERNMENT OF TONGA

MEDIA RELEASE

(15 April, 2016)

“Cabinet approved the Second Remuneration Report”

The Cabinet in a special meeting held on Wednesday 13 April 2016 approved the Second Remuneration Report for the public service.  The report was the result of the work carried out by the Remuneration Authority, which was directed by Cabinet.  The report recommended a new remuneration structure for the public service to be implemented starting on the 1st July 2016.

The Second Remuneration Report was completed and submitted to Cabinet in November 2015.  Cabinet directed then for the Remuneration Authority to work together with the Public Service Commission to recommend the way forward in implementing the report and for the report to be made available to all Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) to check and resolve any anomalies that may have resulted in the course of this exercise.  This decision was made in the understanding that the Public Service Commission has the principal function of determining the remuneration structure for the public service.  In addition, that CEOs should be given the opportunity to consider the result of the report regarding their respective Ministries and Departments.

During the consultation of the report earlier this year between the Authority, the Commission and the CEOs, the CEOs were able to constructively provide their views on the report with particular emphasis on the need for consultation with the rest of the public service. These consultations were completed in March 2016 and the report was submitted to Cabinet.

After due consideration to all reports on the Second Remuneration Report, the Cabinet has approved the following:

  • That the Second Remuneration Report will be effective on the 1st July;
  • That the preparatory work for the implementation of the Second Report shall be undertaken jointly by the Public Service Commission, the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the Remuneration Authority, with monthly progress report submitted to Cabinet;
  • That the Remuneration Authority appeal process be set up immediately.

The Cabinet’s decision was announced to all CEOs in a meeting with the Hon Prime Minister, Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva and Cabinet Ministers on Wednesday afternoon.  The decision was accepted by the CEOs and they expressed their commitment for an effective implementation of the report.

This decision by the Cabinet marks a new milestone for the public service.  The current salary structure was established back in the 1970s and it is outdated and contained a lot of anomalies for a lot of positions and salary scales.  The first attempt by the Government to reform the salary structure was in 2005, which unfortunately resulted in the public service strike.  Lessons learned from 2005 were taken into account by the current Government in revisiting this important initiative for the public service.

The Hon Prime Minister, Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva stated that the Government supports this reform to the public service and is convinced that if the related bodies will work together with the public service there will be a smooth transition to the new salary structure.  He also stated that while it is expected there will be anomalies and complaints, the proper mechanisms will be established to deal with this fairly and satisfactorily.

The Hon Minister for Finance and National Planning also welcomed this decision.  He said that the decision sent a signal to the development partners that the Government is working on reforming the public service.  The new remuneration structure links directly to the performance of public service employees and the commitment by Government to improve the service delivery to the public.

The Public Service Commission is now working with the Remuneration Authority in the preparatory work for the implementation of this new framework.

The Cabinet also approved that the First Remuneration Report submitted by the Remuneration Authority in 2014 be update and to be also effective from the 1st July 2016.  The first report recommended remuneration structures for officers listed in the Schedule to the Remuneration Authority Act 2010 which included Cabinet Ministers, Legislative Assembly Staff, Judges, Members of Court of Appeal, Tribunals and Statutory Boards, His Majesty’s Armed Forces, Ministry of Police, Prison and Fire Services and positions not covered in the Public Service Act.

-ENDS-

Issued by the: The Prime Minister’s Office, P.O. Box 62, Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Tel: (676) 24 644     Fax:  (676) 23 888; For media enquiries- Email: pressoffice@pmo.gov.to Website: www.pmo.gov.to

Translate »