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Charissa Yong
Monday, Sep 1, 2014

Singapore

Civil service raises pay to keep pace with market

The Straits Times | Charissa Yong | Monday, Sep 1, 2014

Photo: ST

Pay hikes of about 5 per cent have been made this month for thousands of mid-level civil servants to ensure that their salaries are comparable to those in the private sector.

Citing factors such as economic growth, competition faced by the civil service "in the hiring market" and a labour market that remains tight, the Public Service Division (PSD) said yesterday that it had made selective adjustments.

These benefit some management executive officers - specifically those at the middle level who work on policies and oversee operations, among other roles - and all management support officers, technicians and clerks.

The Straits Times understands that executive officers who received the pay hikes include those making over $10,000 a month.

Salaries of junior and senior executive officers were not reviewed as these were deemed to be in line with the market, the PSD said in a a statement.

"Having studied private-sector salary data, the PSD has selectively made salary adjustments for some generic schemes of service in August 2014 to close the gaps with the market and ensure that salaries remain competitive."

Salaries of civil servants are reviewed annually and adjusted when necessary to keep pace with the market, it added. "We are careful not to lead the market."

Salaries that were found to be competitive were not adjusted.

The adjustments this month do not apply to civil servants in specialised schemes, such as accountants, police officers, teachers and foreign service officers.

It was previously announced that Home Team officers would get increases of 5 per cent to 12 per cent this month, while public-sector nurses would get increases of 5 per cent to 20 per cent over the next two years.

Amalgamated Union of Public Employees general secretary Ma Wei Cheng said salary adjustments of about 5 per cent benefited thousands of civil servants.

There are about 6,500 management executive officers and 5,300 management support officers.

National Trades Union Congress assistant secretary-general Cham Hui Fong said the hikes showed the public sector aimed to catch up with the private sector.

"Two years ago, they made some adjustments to salaries, and they made some again last month because certain grades were still not comparable to the market," she said, referring to the last time such an adjustment was made, back in February 2012.

The PSD said statutory boards, which are separate entities from ministries, set their own salaries "although they may take reference from the civil service".

charyong@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on August 30, 2014.
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