There has always been confusion in all the major pay revisions so far with complicated figures, percentages and allowances and so many civil servants and public servants are left scratching their heads until they get their pay slips and even then some don’t really know.
This time around was no different with the main confusion being over the restructuring of the entire pay system where allowances were all clubbed under variable pay, some allowances were done away with and LTC and Leave Encashment are given as pay.
An official said the Bill is called a ‘Pay Structure Reform Bill’ and is intended for reform in the pay structure and not so much a hike which has still been given.
What is loud and clear is that all civil servants are getting a 5% hike on their basic pay which is being called a 5% one-time indexation but is effectively a pay hike.
The next major benefit is that the 30 days leave encashment that all civil servants get is being divided over 12 months and being given as part of the variable pay.
The benefit here is that for those civil servants who take sick or other leave, they lose out on leave encashment pay. Now they are getting the whole thing.
There is then the LTC set to a ceiling of Nu 15,000 a year. Here the benefit is more on paper than in real life as civil servants already got this amount at the end of the year. This has been divided into 12 months of the year.
Then another additional monthly hike is a one-off fixed monthly payment added to the pay of civil servants. This is Nu 1,000 for P 1 to P4, Nu 1,500 for P 5 to S4 and Nu 2,000 for S5 to O4.
This might be like a higher than usual increment for senior officials, but it is a huge hike for junior civil servants or support staff who earn much lesser.
For example, at the junior most O4 position the 5% indexation hike is only Nu 530 per month but then the Nu 2,000 per month one-off fixed payment comes as a huge boost making the total hike around 24% for this category.
In absolute terms among public servants the highest beneficiary is the PM getting Nu 26,690 more per month with Nu 9,540 as the 5% indexation, 15,900 as leave encashment and 1,250 as LTC.
This is followed by Cabinet Ministers, Speaker, NC Chairman, Chief Justice and Opposition Leader at Nu 19,625 and then MPs getting Nu 11,095 more.
Thrompons get Nu 8,210 and while Gups get Nu 5,655.
Among civil servants the highest overall pay hike goes to the Cabinet Secretary at Nu 12,475 with Nu 4,210 due to the 5% indexation, Nu 7,015 leave encashment and Nu 1,250 LTC.
This is followed closely by government secretaries at 11,095.
Ex 1 get Nu 9,545 while Ex 3 gets Nu 7,130.
P 1 officers boosted by the Nu 1,000 one-off fixed payment also get Nu 7,130.
For a P4 officer the gain is Nu 5,610.
A P5 officer gets a total of Nu 5,500 boosted due to the Nu 1,500 one-off fixed payment while a S4 officer four grades down gets Nu 4,685.
The Nu 2,000 boost given by the one-off fixed payment at the S5 level ensures a total hike of Nu 4,940 which is higher than even the higher S4 grade.
The same Nu 2,000 one-off fixed payment ensures that even the junior most O 4 grade in the civil service gets a hike of Nu 4,290 in total.
So while the popular perception is just a 5% hike on the basic pay the benefits are the Leave Encashment and the one-off fixed payment especially for the lower level of the civil service.
The more exact ones will want to reduce the LTC of 1,250 from their pay as this is something they already get, but even if the LTC is not included civil servants have got anything ranging from Nu 11,000 to Nu 6,000 at the Ex levels, Nu 6000 to 4,250 from the P 1 to P5 level, Nu 4,165 to Nu 3,410 from the S 1 to O 4 level.