The Macau Federation of Civil Service Workers’ Associations is calling for a 3.5 percent pay rise because of inflation. It also wants an increase in the family allowance payable to civil servants, the Portuguese-language paper Ponto Final reports.
Inflation has largely been kept in check in Macao, with the latest figures showing the composite consumer price index rising just 0.14 percent month-to-month in May and only 0.9 percent year-on-year.
However, association representative Pang Kung Hou – citing anecdotal evidence – told local media that real inflation had exceeded official figures.
“Although the percentage point of inflation is not high, there is a gap between statistical data and citizens’ sentiment,” he told the Chinese-language newspaper Jornal do Cidadão, adding that “it is believed” that inflation had “already exceeded three percent since Covid-19.”
He also said that civil servants in “neighbouring regions” had recently received pay bumps of up to 4.65 percent and that government workers in Macao, who have endured a three-year salary freeze, deserved a raise to “stimulate morale.”
The call comes in the wake of a recent survey of private sector workers that found that salaries had either stayed flat or even decreased compared to last year, for more than 90 percent of respondents.
According to the survey by the Macao Federation of Trade Unions and the Commercial Employees’ General Association of Macau, 65 percent of employees also felt their industry offered poor opportunities for upward mobility.