No pay increase for top public servants

Chief Executive Officers (C.E.O.s), Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament and members of the Judiciary will not get a pay rise next year. 

But other senior public servants, such as Assistant C.E.O.s) will. 

The Ministry of Finance Chief Executive Officer, Leasiosiofa’asisina Oscar Malielegaoi, confirmed the arrangement in an interview with the Samoa Observer. 

“As you know the implementation of the salary increase or increment was pre-approved [in 2018], however, the final increment will not go through, for the C.E.O.s and positions above,” he said. 

He said in other countries leaders are “taking a pay cut” but in Samoa, the third and final planned cost of living increase for top public servants had been put on hold due to the economic impact of the COVID-19.  

“I can confirm that [there will be] no salary increase [...for] C.E.O. level and positions above [...] come January 2021,” he said. 

“However, all other public servants will receive the final 2 per cent  [cost of living adjustment (C.O.L.A.)] increase as per [an] approval [made] in the [2018-19 Financial Year] Budget to be implemented over three years.”

In the Financial Year 2018-2019 a three-phase cost of living adjustment was approved for all public servants as part of the $19.4 million Supplementary Budget. 

At the time, the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, said the implementation of the C.O.L.A. began with a 5 per cent increase for all personnel from Principals and below and a 3 per cent increase for all Assistant Chief Executive Officer positions up to Chief Executive Officers (C.E.O.s). 

“In January 2020, all Principals to below C.E.O.s [received another] 3 per cent increase while a 3 per cent increase [was] introduced for C.E.O.s, Cabinet Ministers, Members of Parliament and members of the judiciary.  

But the decision not to grant the most senior public servants the final phase of the cost of living increase comes after a coronavirus-led economic downturn that has severely hurt Government revenues.

The total five per cent salary increment which began in 2019 is being rolled out in three phases with the last portion being distributed just before the 2021 General Election in April next year. 

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