Sri Lanka implements public sector wage increase

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In November 2011, the Government of Sri Lanka announced a 10% wage increase for public sector employees, through the national budget for 2012. However, the government later said the wage increase will be paid out in the form of a ‘non pensionable allowance’ calculated against basic salaries. The 10% increase will be added on, to the 5% increase given in 2011. The government proposed that non staff category employees be given this increase from January 2012 while staff grade officers be given a 5% salary increase from January and the balance 5% salary increase from July 2012.

According to the latest announcement by the Ministry of Public Administration, on the salary increase, the allowance will be paid out in a number of different ways and will replace the 5% allowance given to public sector workers in 2011.

  • Public sector workers n salary grades below LKR 22,935 per month, will get a 15 % allowance on the basic monthly salary, from January this year.
  • Public sector officers in salary grades above LKR 22,935, per month, will get a 10% allowance calculated against their salaries from January, and the balance 5% allowance from July.
  • The armed forces also qualify for the same increase under the same conditions.
  • Personal staff of ministers, deputy ministers, Members of Parliaments, Governors of Provincial Councils, Chief Ministers and Ministers of Provincial Councils and Coordinating Secretaries of the Secretaries of Cabinet Ministries, will also qualify for the wage increase from January and July, depending on their current salary scales.
  • Causal workers in the State sector will get a 15% allowance, based on their daily wage, starting from January.

The allowance has also been transferred to public sector pensions Public sector employees who retired before December 31, 2003 will get an Rs 500 increase that will be added to their current LKR 750 per month, allowance, from January, and another LKR 500 allowance from July. This two tier increase will put up their monthly allowance to LKR 1,250 and to LKR 1750 by the end of 2012. Public servants who retired between 2004 and end-2005 will get an LKR 500 increase to their allowance in two tranches from January and July, putting up their allowance to LKR 500 and LKR 750 per month.

However, public sector trade unions are saying the current wage increase is inadequate and are demanding a LKR 2,500 basic salary increase, instead of an allowance.

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