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Further consultation with URA staff on remuneration proposal

The Management of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) has held further consultation with staff members on the proposed terms and conditions of employment.

At a meeting last Thursday (19 July), the Board of the URA agreed that the proposed terms and conditions of employment should be the basis of further consultation with staff members. The Board also approved the adoption of a new organisation structure for the URA with immediate effect, which is "district focus" in redevelopment activities.

"Restructuring is essential in view of the wider scope of work of the URA and the vast public expectations on its role," said URA Managing Director Mr Canice Mak.

Under the new organisation structure, district teams will be set up with strong functional leadership to ensure consistent formulation and application of policies.

Consultative sessions with some 300 staff members were held on Monday (23 July) and Thursday (26 July). Mr Mak said the management engaged in sincere, useful and constructive dialogues with staff on the proposed package.

"We listen carefully to their views and their feedback will definitely be conveyed to the Board of the URA for consideration," said Mr Mak.

During the consultative sessions, the following proposed terms and conditions of employment have been explained to staff members:


A. Implementation date
The new terms shall take effect from 1 April 2002 for existing staff. For new recruits, they will take effect immediately.

B. Salary Bands
The new salaries of existing staff will incorporate their salaries, cash allowance and the 13th month pay. The benchmark of the new salary structure will be set at around the market median to reflect competitiveness with the private sector.

C. Variable Pay and Pay Increment
Performance-related variable pay will be introduced to Director and General Manager grades at 25 per cent and 20 per cent respectively of the new salaries. For existing staff, this arrangement will be gradually implemented over a period of two years starting from 1 April 2002.

A 3 per cent budget will be allocated for pay adjustment this year to take effect in September 2001 and backdated to April 2001.

D. Duration of Employment
For existing staff, the Director and General Manager grade staff will be given a three-year contract, renewable thereafter, whereas the Senior Manager grade and below will be on continuous terms. New recruits will be on three-year contracts renewable thereafter on contract or continuous terms.

E. Possible Redundancies
It is estimated that some staff could not be easily migrated to the new structure because of the unavailability of compatible positions in the new setup. For these staff, they will be given a proposed severance package of one-month salary for each year of service with a minimum of three months' salary and a maximum of 12 months.

F. Severance package
For staff who will not accept the proposed new terms, except overpaid staff who will not accept the new salary package, they will be offered 2/3 month's salary up to $22,500 per month for every year of service, up to a maximum amount of $350,000.

G. Normal working hours
In general, the office working hours will be increased from 38.125 hours a week to 41.25 (excluding lunch).

H. Annual Leave Entitlement
There will be a reduction of annual leave of four to nine days, except for junior staff whose leave entitlement will remain unchanged.

27 July 2001