Singapore—The Public Service Division (PSD) announced on June 13, Thursday, that the country’s civil servants will be receiving a 0.45-month mid-year bonus and a one-off payment of at least S$200 by the middle of July.
The PSD said, ”The Government will decide on the year-end AVC payment for civil servants after taking into consideration Singapore’s economic performance in the second half of 2019.”
For civil servants in Grades IV and V of the Operations Support Scheme (OSS), the lump sum payment will be higher, as it has been set at S$300. Civil servants in Grade V of OSS will also be receiving a salary hike of up to S$50, along with their annual increment.
There are about 1,400 people who will gain an advantage due to the higher lump sum payment.
The mid-year payments for this year factored in the National Wages Council’s recommendations, as well as talks accomplished with public sector unions.
The PSD said that they are a sign of the Government’s “continued commitment to support lower-wage civil servants,” since the country’s economy has grown by 1.2 percent in the first quarter of this year.
For the full year, Singapore’s economy is expected to grow 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent.
What the unions are saying
Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reports that according to Cham Hui Fong, assistant secretary-general of National Trades Union Congress, “The civil service mid-year annual variable component of 0.45 month is a reflection of the lower GDP forecast and the economic uncertainties caused by the trade tensions.”
She also said, “We must continue to push ahead with innovation and training to raise productivity. We will work closely with PSD and the unions to boost their skills levels and continue to invest in job redesign to enhance the job value.”
The Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE) said that the mid-year bonus is “reasonable,” based on the global situation and lower projected local growth.
The general secretary of AUPE, Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari, said, “Especially in such disruptive times, our public officers must remain relevant and adapt to the changing dynamics through skills upgrading in areas of digitalisation and the use of new technologies. This will help drive productivity, enable our officers to pursue higher value jobs and eventually help uplift their lives.”
For the Amalgamated Union of the Public Daily Rated Workers, it “understands that the lower payout this year is in view of Singapore’s slower economic growth.” The union is encouraging its members to exercise caution with their spending. -/TISG