eaWell, that was what we got today...
It started somewhere in April 07, when the Government announced that civil servants were being underpaid compared to the industry. Many were pissed that there wasn't a system to appraise how salary increments were given and what statistics the figures were based on. So we have all accepted that there is nothing we can do about it. No matter how we complain, things will still remain the same. This is one side of the story.
Now, for civil servants, the story is different. We got a pay cut a few years back amounting to about 5% of our salary due to the market condition then. Now that the market is picking up, we were promised that the salary cut would be reinstated. However, with the excuse that we were underpaid, we were told that, on top of the salary reinstatement, there would be a salary increment as a market adjustment component to match us to where the industry was.
As time went by, things seemed to take shape. In mid April, the HR Department hosted a seminar that informed us that we would be getting only 5% increment in salary, which was meant to be the salary reinstatement. However, to offset the difference in salary, we would be given 2 one-off payments at 2 different times throughout the year. This off-set was meant as a consolation to what we didn't get. Now we all know that Ministers got 25% salary increment. As civil servants, we expect that our increments will be moderated. As such, many of us accept the fact that we will never get an increment equivalent or near to what was conveyed to us. That being said, we were resigned to the fact that we will get at minimum the promised one-off payments.
At the seminars, what was stated by the HRD was that anyone joining the service earlier than 1 April 07 would be eligible for the market adjustment. As this was for adjustment of salaries, it meant that anyone joining the force before this date will be compensated whereas the salaries of new entrants would be revised accordingly.
Today, we received an e-mail from HRD telling that those that joined after 1 April 06 are not eligible for market adjustment, which effectively meant that we only get reinstated what was taken away, but there is NO...i repeat NO adjustments given to us. The reasoning was that the HRD made a huge blunder in communicating the information to the staff and that what was promised was all a misunderstanding and we were meant to get nothing from the start. So, HR does many seminars to explain that we would be getting something, and at the last moment, when we are supposed to get pay offs, we get nothing. Period.
The officer I spoke to added that we should count our blessings that we are getting something and that what we are getting is much much more than others. What she doesn't know is that we had a salary cut and is now being reinstated not that it is free!
The best part is that HRD managed to tell everyone what we'd be getting, send e-mails to confirm it, and at the end of the day, say that the salary adjustment follows a completely different guideline which no one in the company has except her department and that they are not supposed to disclose this. Her colleague is very sorry that they made the blunder, but they can do nothing about it and we should keep quiet because we are civil servants.
Perhaps the country should consider taking back the salary adjustments, considering it was meant for us in the first place but we are not getting anything at the end.