SINGAPORE - Madam V. Inthira's monthly pay as a service executive at the National University Hospital (NUH) had stagnated at about $2,000 up until two years ago.
Then she was sent for training to be a supervisor. The 46-year-old's salary is now over $2,500.
Like Madam Inthira, all 5,000 lower wage healthcare support staff in the public health sector will get salary hikes of about 15 per cent by the end of this year.
Their pay has grown due to a push by the labour movement to raise wages through better training and productivity.
In 2012, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) gave itself two years to raise the salaries of about 2,000 lower wage staff in the public hospitals, polyclinics and national health centres, by 10 to 20 per cent.
These workers earn less than $1,700 a month and work as health attendants and assistants in hospital wards or as patient service associates doing customer service.
Last year, the labour movement surpassed its goal by achieving salary increases of 10 per cent for 2,500 lower wage public healthcare workers.
This year, it exceeded the goal again.
With the 15 per cent pay hike, a junior patient service associate will earn between $1,265 and $1,725, up from $1,100 to $1,500 two years ago.