asked the Lord Privy Seal what representations the Hong Kong Government have received from trade unions in the Civil Service to set up an independent arbitration body to deal with grading disputes.
The Hong Kong Government have received one letter from a staff union proposing the setting up of an independent arbitration board to deal with disputes between the Government and its employees. In addition, the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service, a non-governmental body, has received three submissions on the subject.
asked the Lord Privy Seal how many disputes have taken place in the Hong Kong Civil Service during the past five years; and how many persons were dismissed or suspended during such disputes.
During the past five years, 17 staff unions in the Hong Kong Civil Service have been involved in 21 disputes leading to some form of industrial action. On two occasions, 26 and 314 officers respectively were suspended from duty without pay. No officer has been dismissed as a result of taking part in such action.
asked the Lord Privy Seal what system of arbitration exists for dealing with disputes in Hong Kong in (a) the public sector and (b) the private sector.
(a) In the public sector, an agreement between the Government and the three main Civil Service staff associations in 1968 provides for the referral of disputes over such matters as pay, allowances, hours of work etc. to a committee of inquiry appointed by the Governor.(
b) The Labour Relations Ordinance provides the legal framework for dealing with disputes in the private sector. This empowers the Commissioner for Labour to appoint conciliation officers to initiate or undertake conciliation. If no settlement of the dispute is reached, the commissioner may recommend that the Government in Council refer the matter to arbitration or to a board of inquiry.
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he is satisfied with the Government machinery for dealing with disputes affecting Government employees in Hong Kong.
asked the Lord Privy Seal if he is satisfied with the use of Civil Service regulation 611 and the letters patent in dealing with disputes of Hong Kong civil servants.
The question of the applicability of these instruments for this purpose is at present before the Court of Appeal. It would therefore not be appropriate for me to comment.