SINGAPORE - A total of 442 daily rated workers at the National Environment Agency (NEA) who have been converted to a monthly wage scheme are now earning higher wages, and in turn, more bonuses.
Following queries from The Straits Times, a spokesman for the NEA said on Thursday (May 6) that these employees, mainly cleaners and vector control workers, will also enjoy better salary progression with the wage conversion, while retaining their existing leave and medical benefits.
Last Saturday, labour chief Ng Chee Meng revealed that these NEA workers were converted to the monthly scheme after efforts from the labour movement.
The secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress said in his May Day Rally speech that the conversion was achieved after discussions between the NEA, NTUC and the Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers (AUPDRW).
When asked for more details, the NEA spokesman said on Thursday that the agency has always been open to converting its daily rated employees to a monthly wage scheme.
Daily rated workers were paid based on the number of days they worked in a month and received their salary on a monthly basis. They also received leave, medical and hospitalisation benefits like monthly rated employees, as well as certain allowances depending on their jobs and their scheme of service.
Last year, a decision was reached to put forward all daily rated workers to switch over to the monthly scheme as a group, said the spokesman.
He added that the NEA and the labour movement ensured that the workers were not worse off overall, upon their conversion to the monthly wage scheme.
"NEA is happy to support the conversion, as it aligns with the principle of providing opportunities for all employees to progress in their career," he said.
He added that the NEA has a "longstanding collaborative partnership" with the AUPDRW, which represents the agency's daily rated workers, and the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE), which represents its monthly rated employees.
"With the conversion, daily rated employees will have a higher monthly salary. This in turn translates to a higher base for computation of performance bonus, mid-year and year-end bonus," said the spokesman.
"They will also enjoy better salary progression under the monthly rated employee scheme of service. The daily rated employees will also retain their existing leave and medical benefits upon their conversion to monthly rated employees," he added.
The agency's spokesman noted that over the years, the number of daily rated workers has declined, as many of these workers have retired after "many years of dedicated service".
He added that the NEA and AUPDRW agreed on the conversion of the remaining daily rated workers to provide them with better salary and career progression.
"With the conversion, our employees will have their welfare and interests represented by a bigger union. NEA will continue to work closely with the AUPE to ensure that our employees are well taken care of," said the spokesman.