S'porean officers paid more than foreigners: Certis Cisco

Dispelling speculation on Taiwanese recruits' salary package, firm says locals get bigger bonus when they join

Private security firm Certis Cisco has dispelled speculation it is paying foreign auxiliary police officers (APOs) more than locals.

For instance, it said local APOs receive a bigger bonus when they join. APOs are trained in areas such as handling arms and counterterrorism, and can be deployed to various sites like immigration checkpoints.

A company spokesman said: "Certis Cisco would like to state categorically that (it) offers a higher salary package to Singaporean APOs as compared to the Taiwanese."

Earlier this week, the outfit confirmed it was looking to hire 120 Taiwanese nationals for its force here and would start recruitment next month. Certis Cisco currently employs more than 3,500 APOs, all of whom are Singaporean or Malaysian. Following the announcement, some people took to social media to suggest the Taiwanese recruits would be paid more and pointed to the starting salaries.

An advertisement for the role on a Taiwanese job portal said that successful candidates will get a monthly salary of NT$60,000 (S$2,700). They will also get a $4,000 bonus - $2,000 upon joining and $2,000 when they complete the two-year contract.

A Certis Cisco spokesman said Singaporean APOs are offered a bonus of $15,000, $5,000 upon joining and $10,000 when they complete a three-year contract.

Singaporeans with three O-level passes can qualify for appointment as corporals, while Taiwanese must possess recognised university degrees to be eligible for the same rank. The basic salary for Singaporean and Taiwanese corporals is also the same, at $2,575. Additionally, a Singaporean APO with national service experience will have an NS allowance.

Accommodation will be provided for the Taiwanese APOs, who have to go through nine weeks of training, where they will learn about basic Singapore law, anti-terrorism efforts and undergo fitness tests. Taiwanese candidates are also required to be able to read, write and converse in English.

The spokesman added: "We will hire qualified Singaporeans first before we explore alternative sources to beef up our manpower resources."

Separately, Aetos has also started exploring Taiwan as a possible source for 120 APOs to help ease the manpower crunch.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2016, with the headline 'S'porean officers paid more than foreigners: Certis Cisco'. Print Edition | Subscribe