Civil servants to get 0.45 month mid-year bonus

The mid-year bonus for all 84,000 civil servants here will be lower this year compared with the last two years, because of the slowing down of the Singapore economy.

Civil servants will receive a bonus of 0.45 of a month's pay against 0.5 month previously.

Similarly, the additional built-in pay increase for lower-wage workers will be smaller than the sum recommended by the National Wages Council (NWC).

About 1,500 of these workers will get $20 to $25 more a month, on top of their annual pay increment for the year.

The NWC, however, had called for an increase of $50 to $65 for low-wage workers earning a basic salary of up to $1,100 a month.

The Public Service Division (PSD), in acknowledging this, said all civil servants already earn more than $1,100.

Its statement yesterday also said the lower payments and pay rise - which will take effect next month - stem from the slowing down of the Singapore economy.

The economy grew by 1.8 per cent in the first quarter of this year and is forecast to grow by 1 per cent to 3 per cent for the full year, amid a weaker global economic outlook.

Labour demand is expected to be uneven across sectors this year.

While the unemployment rate has remained low, employment growth has slowed and redundancies are expected in some sectors as the economy restructures, said the PSD statement. The mid-year payments were decided in close consultation with public sector unions, it added.

Unionists said the pay hikes were fair.

"Considering the slowdown in our economic growth, the payment fairly rewards civil servants for their dedication and contributions," said National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general Cham Hui Fong.

Those who will benefit from the wage increases are Grade IV and Grade V officers in the Operations Support Scheme. They perform administrative support duties such as office maintenance.

About 900 Grade IV officers, with a monthly salary of between $1,446 and $1,843, will get a built-in wage increase of $20.

Grade V officers under the same scheme will get a $25 pay rise. There are about 600 of them and they earn between $1,205 and $1,536 a month.

Mr G. Muthukumarasamy, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers, said the increases would be a big help to lower-wage civil servants and their families, "especially during these challenging times".

The pay rises signal the Government's continued commitment to help raise the salaries of low-wage civil servants, said the PSD.

It added that year-end bonuses for civil servants would be decided after taking into consideration Singapore's economic performance in the second half of the year.

Said Mr Yeo Chun Fing, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees: "We hope that if the economy recovers, the Government will duly reward our civil servants."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2016, with the headline 'Civil servants to get 0.45 month mid-year bonus'. Print Edition | Subscribe