New Commission to rectify state sector salary anomalies | Sunday Observer

New Commission to rectify state sector salary anomalies

The planned Public Service Commission (PSC) to look into reforming the salaries and wage structures of the entire public service and rectifying any anomalies, will be expected to provide their recommendations within the next two months, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said on Friday. Addressing reporters at the Ministry premises, the Finance Minister whilst noting that the government is taking a holistic approach to address the problem of demands for pay hikes, said the new mechanism will ensure that all government sector employees would in future receive increments to their salary scale on a fair and equitable basis.

“A Cabinet paper seeking the appointment of the new commission will be submitted at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday (14). The proposed committee would then be able to decide on the proportion of the increases and how much funds should be allocated for this,” Minister Samaraweera said.

According to sample salary sheets published by the Ministry of Transport last week, while the basic salary of an Railway Engine Driver for the month of July 2018 was Rs.55,864, net take home pay of the driver amounted to over Rs. 250,000. Similarly, the railway guards and station masters while earning a basic salary of Rs. 48,808 and Rs. 51,160 respectively enjoyed take home pay of around Rs. 160,000 and Rs. 146,000, respectively.

“If we increase the salaries based on the demands of the Railways trade union, it will create an enormous amount of salary anomalies within the public service. That is why we cannot consider them alone but we have to consider the state sector as one full entity,” Minister Samaraweera said.

He noted that if the salary hike demands of the railway sector workers are granted, other public sector professionals like doctors, nurses, dentists, principals, accountants and engineers will demand hikes in line with the increases. According to the 2017 Annual Report of Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) suffered an operating loss of Rs. 7.6 billion in 2017, compared to a loss of Rs. 6.8 billion in 2016. 

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