BAND TOGETHER TO POWER UP - Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers! - 01 MAY 2014
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01 MAY 2014 60 CENTS MCI (P) 183/12/2013 BAND TOGETHER TO POWER UP Better Employers, Better Workers, Better Customers! WONDERING WHAT THESE Photo by Goy Kae Lip ‘BETTER ENERGY BANDS’ ARE ALL ABOUT? TURN THE PAGE TO FIND OUT NOW!
2 MAY DAY SPECIAL NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 The Better Movement For All To mark May Day 2014, the Labour Movement has a message not just for employers and workers but for customers as well. T his May Day, the Labour Movement celebrates the Banding launch of a new movement – the ‘Better Movement’. It celebrates the workers of Singapore, thanks them for their contributions in building a better Singapore, and to inspire a Together spirit of self-improvement. The ‘Better Movement’, in line with NTUC Secretary-General (SG) Lim Swee Say’s May Day message, calls on Singaporeans to be Better Employers, Better Workers and Better Customers through adjusting mindsets and changing our economy, our workforce and our society for the better. At a media briefing on 25 April 2014, SG Lim said that Singapore is currently seeing a tight labour market and he stressed that this tightness will continue from now to 2020 and become even tighter from 2020 to 2030 as Singapore transits to a productivity and innovation-driven economy. He highlighted that the pressure is on, as companies see their business costs going up, and workers see themselves taking on more roles and responsibilities. Photo by Goy Kae Lip “We (Tripartite Partners) believe that the more effective we are in working together to get through this restructuring, the faster we can get over this pain of restructuring,” said SG Lim. FOR EMPLOYERS, WORKERS AND CUSTOMERS A Hence, his message to employers: Be better employers, because long with the movement, 100,000 Better “only by becoming better employers will they be able to attract and Energy Bands have been produced by the retain better workers.” Labour Movement to be handed out to And to the workers, he said: “In the future not workers and members of the public. Recipients only do we have to compete with workers are encouraged to wear the band to show their in other countries, but we also have to commitment and solidarity to the ‘Better compete with technology, robots and Movement’ cause. more. The campaign will kick off on 1 May 2014, In addition, SG Lim’s message where NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say, for customers this year is show their NTUC President Diana Chia and fellow members appreciation to workers. “We also need of the NTUC Central Committee will distribute every customer to be a better customer… the bands to workers at JEM shopping mall. we need the customer to play their part,” he Some 1,000 other members of the Labour added. Movement will carry on with an island-wide “So if all three (employers, workers distribution of the bands at hospitals, bus and and customers) can come together, then train interchanges, ports and retail malls. I think we have a much better chance Explaining its significance, SG Lim said: of speeding up the restructuring of “This year, we are going to do something the economy…” said SG Lim. different from before. This message on ‘Better Customer’ means that we have to learn how to appreciate the efforts of the workers and treat all workers as equal.” The energy bands come with the word ‘Better’ emblazoned on it, signifying the call for ‘Better Employers’, ‘Better Workers’ and ‘Better Customers’.
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 MAY DAY SPECIAL 3 Check out our May Day 2014 videos, news and messages in various languages on NTUC U Portal: http//bit.ly/ntuc_celebrates_mayday May Day Resolution 2014 Today we have real wage growth. We want to sustain it and make it even better. Labour market is tight, productivity gain is still low, quality growth is the way to go. Businesses must be more innovative, more creative and make jobs easier, smarter, safer for our workers. We must succeed in making every worker a better worker, every job a better job and every business a better business. Today, as we celebrate May Day, we, the Labour Movement, strongly urge: Our Employers to value every worker more, accord them with better treatment, opportunities and wages; Our Workers to value their jobs more, take greater pride in what they do and seize every opportunity to learn, adapt and be ready for the future; Our Tripartite Partners to further strengthen the trust amongst us, and more importantly the trust of workers and businesses in us; and Our People to be more gracious consumers, treating all workers with greater care and respect, and making things better for one another. On this May Day, as we remember the steadfast conviction of our pioneer generation of workers, unionists and tripartite leaders, let us re-affirm: Our Pledge to stand with workers of Singapore; Our Commitment to Singapore Tripartism; Our Symbiotic relationship with the People’s Action Party; and Our Solidarity with the International Labour Movement. Together, we pledge to build a stronger Labour Movement, a more pervasive Tripartism, and a better home and brighter future for all Singaporeans!
4 MAY DAY SPECIAL NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 May Day Messages Amidst this transition, our goal remains unchanged: To improve Singaporeans’ lives. An important strategy is to develop better workers and create better jobs. This is the only sustainable way to raise wages.” productivity. We are also attracting high- invest in workers, develop their skills, and quality investments. Lucasfilm has set up its make full use of their talents. Only then will Sandcrawler base in Singapore, producing the Government’s programmes bear fruit. exciting digital movies for audiences By working together, we strengthen our worldwide. ExxonMobil just opened its model of tripartism and keep it our lasting second cracker on Jurong Island. We are competitive advantage. collaborating with our neighbours to create Our Pioneer Generation overcame more opportunities overseas, whether in long odds to set Singapore on the path to Iskandar Malaysia, our G-to-G projects in development. In the unions, many pioneers China or one of the five Vietnam-Singapore fought the Communists and worked with Industrial Parks. We are also expanding our the Government to foster constructive Lee Hsien Loong export markets through several free trade labour-management relations, build a Prime Minister agreements with the European Union and competitive economy and deliver better our Trans-Pacific partners. lives for all. We should honour them by S ingapore is undergoing a major Developing better workers and creating upholding their spirit, building on their transition. Our economy is upgrading better jobs is our collective responsibility. achievements and creating an even better qualitatively and not expanding as Each tripartite partner must do their part: Singapore for our children. quickly as before. Last year we grew 4.1% – Workers must make the effort to train I wish all Singaporeans a Happy a good performance. Wages and household and upgrade themselves. Employers must May Day! incomes rose broadly. This year we expect to grow 2 to 4%, which is typical of a more mature economy. We are strengthening our social safety nets to give every Singaporean more peace of mind. MediShield Life and the expanded Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) will help cover every Singaporean’s medical needs. Permanent GST Vouchers will offset daily expenses. Larger subsidies for children’s education will benefit all families, especially the lower-income. The Pioneer Generation Package will honour and help the seniors who started us on this nation- building journey. Amidst this transition, our goal remains unchanged: To improve Singaporeans’ lives. An important strategy is to develop better workers and create better jobs. This is the only sustainable way to raise wages. We are upgrading workers’ skills by investing heavily in Continuous Education and Training (CET). We are building two new CET Institutes – the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability in Jurong and the Lifelong Learning Institute in Paya Lebar. They will create more opportunities for workers to upgrade themselves and advance their careers. We are also creating better jobs for Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong greets a vetern unionist at the Pioneer Singaporeans. This year’s Budget included Generation Tribute earlier this year. generous incentives to help companies raise
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 MAY DAY SPECIAL 5 May Day Messages Diana Chia President Our vision is to strive National Trades Union Congress for Better Jobs for All, Labour Movement for All and T he profound transformation that Tripartism for All. To achieve our economy is going through will this we are working to have impact on workers. enhance the 4Ps - Protection, Our vision is to strive for Better Jobs Progression, Placement and for All, Labour Movement for All and Tripartism for All. To achieve this we are Privileges...” working to enhance the 4Ps — Protection, Progression, Placement and Privileges — to deliver more value to all workers and seamlessly to union membership upon members, and help them through this joining the workforce. Small and medium- process of economic transformation to sized enterprises (SMEs) employ a large emerge even stronger and better off than proportion of our workforce. We want to before. Organising Resource Centre in NTUC extend our outreach to these SMEs, so that For example, progression could mean has also been supporting our unions in both businesses and workers can benefit. breaking the “academic qualification” glass organising new branches and increasing We do this because we believe that no ceiling for non-graduates. Progression membership penetration in existing worker should be deprived of the benefits could also mean equal opportunities to branches. Our various communities, from of union membership. excel in work and family through flexible nEbO to Young NTUC and from U Family To achieve all these outcomes, strong work arrangements for working mothers. to U Live, have complemented our unions’ tripartism is critical, not just at the Protection could mean a broader scope efforts in reaching out to a wider segment national level but also at the sectoral level. of representation provided by our unions of the workforce. I am happy to note that good progress has for PMEs (Professionals, Managers and We can do so much more. We are been made by some sectors in this regard. Executives) while better protection for working closely with the Ministry of I reiterate the call for more Government outsourced workers means that their Manpower to amend the Industrial agencies and employers to come forward so salaries do not get cut each time their Relations Act to allow stronger union that we can forge win-win-win outcomes contract is being renewed. Placement of representation of PMEs. We are paying for the workers, employers and the mature PMEs could mean finding more close attention to help nEbO graduates, Government. opportunities in niche employment who are our future workers, transit Happy May Day to all workers! areas and privileges for union leaders could mean better recognition from the management for the good work they do at the workplaces. In short, we want to be able to address the needs of different workers and members in a more holistic manner. Achieving this will not be easy. It will require the combined efforts of NTUC and our partners. It will need a strong Labour Movement that has a strong voice with weight that can lead to positive change for workers. One of the key measures of the Labour Movement’s strength is whether we are representative of the workforce, both in numbers and profile of union members. In a world where unionisation rates are falling, our unionisation rate of resident workers actually increased from 20% in 2002 to 27% in 2013. Credit must be given to our union leaders on the ground for their tireless efforts in reaching out to and keeping in touch with the concerns of workers, as well as making a positive difference for them at the workplace. Our Membership NTUC President Diana Chia with fellow unionists at the soft launch of NTUC’s U Flex movement earlier this year.
6 MAY DAY SPECIAL NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 May Day Messages Lim Swee Say Secretary-General The tightening of the National Trades Union Congress labour market will spur a faster pace of economic S ince our May Day celebrations last restructuring. We must do our year, we have continued to make best to minimise the downside progress. and maximise the upside for Our economic growth is healthy. The labour market is tight. Best of all, wages our workers and businesses.” continue to move up faster than inflation. These achievements are hard-earned. I salute our workers and tripartite partners too. The globalised world thrives on mutual for their hard work, resilience and unity. dependency, mutual support and mutual Even though we celebrate May Day acceptance. Good services beget good amidst labour shortages, we should be customers, and good customers beget good mindful that good jobs will always be the services. As we strive to become a more best welfare and full employment the best advanced economy, we must also strive to protection for our workers, both young be a nation of better customers and better and old. people. The tightening of the labour market There is certainly much for us to will spur a faster pace of economic global unemployment may not improve celebrate, and much for us to reflect on this restructuring. We must do our best to as businesses embrace new technologies May Day. We can all change for the better minimise the downside and maximise the and new methods to stay ahead. The — every employer, every worker and every upside for our workers and businesses. If increasingly widespread use of Cheaper, customer. not, the outcome of a failed restructuring Better and Faster robots and cyber-based Do not wait for each other. Be the first will be painful for all. services is a case in point. The best way to to change. Imagine a future where rank-and- attract more good jobs, create more good Together, we can make things better file workers are replaced by robots; careers and sustain good wage growth for and emerge from this restructuring a Professionals, Managers and Executives our workers is for us to value our jobs more better workforce, a better economy and a become underemployed; mature workers and take greater pride in what we do. better society. cannot fit into workplaces that are not Last but not least, as customers and Happy May Day to all workers of age-friendly; working parents, especially consumers, we can change for the better Singapore! working mothers, face worsening work- life balance due to inflexible work arrangements; and low-wage workers are stuck in a world of cheap sourcing. If we allow these to happen, we will face higher unemployment not just because of job shortage, but also because of job and worker mismatches. Nobody wants to end up with such a future. This is why we are determined to keep upgrading skills, creating good jobs and keep growing our economic pie so that there is more for all to share. To succeed, all of us have to adjust our mindset and change our economy, our workforce and our society for the better. First, employers have to learn to make better use of every worker, and treat every worker better. The labour market will remain tight till 2020, and even tighter all the way to 2030. Competition for good people will not ease. Only better employers can attract and retain better people and grow more profitably. Second, in a world of job shortages, NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say with veteran unionists at the Pioneer Generation Tribute earlier this year.
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 MAY DAY SPECIAL 7 May Day Messages Tan Chuan-Jin be set up to assess the need for mandating Acting Minister For Manpower It is important that a PWM in the landscaping sector. (Minister, with effect from 1 May 2014) The Government is also fully committed tripartite members to helping companies transform their continue to work closely existing business models, so that they together as we transform our can create better job opportunities for economy to create higher- our workers. We will continue to strongly encourage businesses to innovate and value industries and quality strive for productivity improvements and jobs for Singaporeans.” in turn, raise the wages of our workers. This process is not easy for employers and I am heartened that our unions have been actively engaging management skills, competencies and career prospects. partners to tap on different funding Low-wage workers, in particular, programmes such as the Inclusive will need greater help in this new Growth Programme and Productivity environment. Much has been done to help and Innovation Credit to review business this group of workers. Let me also take processes, boost productivity and speed up this opportunity to laud NTUC’s efforts innovation. in engaging both service buyers and Our strong tripartite partnership has service providers on best sourcing and in served us well in the past. This partnership spearheading the Progressive Wage Model is a competitive advantage for Singapore (PWM), which puts in place clear wage- as our economy restructures and we aim O ur economy grew by 4.1% last year, skill and career progression pathways for for more sustainable and inclusive growth. and is expected to grow between workers. Service buyers who best source Singapore’s progress over the years is 2 and 4% this year. Our labour cleaning, landscape and security contracts testament to our strong fundamentals, market remains tight with close to full to service providers who adopt the PWM including our strong tripartism spirit. As employment, and the real median income can now receive funding support from the we look forward to meeting the challenges for Singaporeans grew by 4.6% in 2013. new Progressive Wage Incentive (PWI). of the future, it is important that the In the midst of this encouraging The Government has agreed to Government, employers and unions economic and labour market environment, incorporate the PWM for the cleaning continue to work closely together towards this year’s May Day theme of ‘Better sector as a licensing requirement for our common objective of making better Workers, Betters Jobs’ is apt. As Singapore cleaning companies. We will do so for the workers and better jobs, so as to create a enters a new phase of development, we security sector when the PWM for the better life for Singaporeans. must continue with our restructuring sector is ready. A tripartite body will also I wish everyone a very Happy May Day! efforts. Only then can we achieve the vision of making “better workers, better jobs.” It is important that tripartite members continue to work closely together as we transform our economy to create higher-value industries and quality jobs for Singaporeans. The Government is committed to help workers at all levels adapt to the new economic environment. One key area is continuous learning and skills upgrading. We are embarking on a major review of the Continuing Education and Training system to support workers in upgrading their skills and lifelong learning, so that they can seize the new job opportunities that restructuring will bring. The Workfare Training Support Scheme will continue to support low-wage workers and older workers to enhance their employability. For the growing pool of our Professionals, Managers and Executives, we will continue to enhance funding support to help deepen their Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin (middle) at the Best Sourcing Symposium earlier this year.
8 MAY DAY SPECIAL NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 May Day Messages Stephen Lee President As Singapore restructures Singapore National Employers Federation its economy, different sectors would face their own T he Singapore economy grew by 4.1% set of challenges. SNEF will in 2013, up from 1.9% in 2012. reach out to employers in Employment growth in 2013 was specific sectors and work 136,2001, the highest since the economic downturn in 2008/09. Inflation fell to with their industry unions 2.4% from 4.6% in 2012. As a result, the to proactively tackle their real median monthly income (including challenges. The mutual trust employer CPF contributions) of workers and respect that we have grew 4.6% 2 in 2013, up from 1.2% in 2012. For 2014, the Ministry of Trade and built up at the national level Industry had projected the economy to grow gainsharing, not only in terms of wages but must cascade down so that by between 2% and 4%. The unemployment in terms of better skills and jobs as well. tripartism is embraced at the rate is likely to remain low as the labour A good example of this cycle is NTUC’s sectoral level.” market continues to be tight. Progressive Wage Model (PWM) where Productivity growth was zero percent productivity, skills, jobs and wages move up in 2013. However, this was better than the in tandem. to make their workplaces more age- and negative 2% in 2012. Part of the reason was I therefore strongly encourage employers family-friendly. The WorkPro programme the slowdown in the employment growth of to consider and work with their unions to was initiated by the Ministry of Manpower foreign workers from 5.9% in 2012 to 4.2% implement the PWM to create better jobs and the Singapore Workforce Development in 2013. Employers must continue to make where better workers can work smarter to Agency and is led by NTUC and SNEF. Since better use of their manpower by enabling raise the productivity of their companies. WorkPro was launched, over 800 companies them to work better and smarter. Buoyed by a growing economy, more older have received assistance through this Firstly, employers must invest in training workers and women are being employed. programme to implement work-life measures their workers to enhance their skills to take The employment rate of workers aged 55 and redesign jobs. on larger and higher job roles. Secondly, to 64 was 65.0%3 in 2013, up from 56.2% Tripartism has helped employers to they should engage and empower their in 2007. The employment rate for women overcome many economic and manpower workers to motivate them to give their best. between ages 25 to 54 was 74.3% in 2013, challenges. NTUC has called for tripartism Thirdly, they need to cultivate a culture up from 68.8%. Flexible work arrangements to be more pervasive by strengthening for productivity at the workplace that are helping employers to retain older workers tripartism at the sectoral level. NTUC encourages innovation and continuous and women. Such flexibility also helps to has also led the formation of tripartite improvements in work processes and where attract the economically inactives, which in workgroups in cleaning, security, management and unions work together these age ranges number about 375,0004, landscaping, healthcare, hospitality and retail to foster harmonious labour-management into the workforce to ease some of the sectors, among others, to look into better relations so that measures to improve manpower shortages faced by employers. career progression for the workers in these productivity can be implemented smoothly. In particular, I urge employers to tap on sectors. This culture can be sustained when there is the WorkPro programme to embark on job As Singapore restructures its economy, a virtuous cycle of productivity growth and redesign and flexible work arrangements different sectors would face their own set of challenges. SNEF will reach out to employers in specific sectors and work with their industry unions to proactively tackle their challenges. The mutual trust and respect that we have built up at the national level must cascade down so that tripartism is embraced at the sectoral level. In this way, all employers and workers can benefit from strong tripartism at both the national and sectoral levels. On behalf of our 3,000 employer members, I wish all workers a Happy May Day! 1 Labour Market 2013, Ministry of Manpower 2 Labour Market 2013, Ministry of Manpower 3 Singapore Workforce, 2013, Ministry of Manpower SNEF President Stephen Lee with tripartite partners at the Pioneer Generation Tribute earlier this year. 4 Labour Force in Singapore, 2013, Ministry of Manpower
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 WEEK IN REVIEW 9 Snapshots A quick round up of what went on in and around the Labour Movement recently. By NTUC This Week Team PM Announces Promotions U Membership Breakthrough Workshop Union membership committee members, want to up your PMEs (Professionals, Managers and Executives) numbers? The latest installment of this workshop series will arm you with basic knowledge on PMEs coverage, representation and fundamental benefits for PMEs. The U Membership Breakthrough Workshop series is designed to help you organise branches, identify core benefits for different working life stages as well as strengthen your union’s membership. 15 May, 9am to 5pm, NTUC Centre, One Marina Boulevard, $32 (after subsidies). Registration Mr Tan Chuan-Jin (pictured above) has is on a first-come first-served basis. For enquiries, call the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership been promoted to a full Minister in the Institute at 6213 8133 or email email@example.com. The next two workshops will take Ministry of Manpower from 1 May 2014. place on 28 August and 20 November. Also promoted to full Minister in the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth is Mr Lawrence Wong (pictured Happy At Work? below). The Labour Movement will be lending its support to the first nationwide These announcements were made by Workplace Happiness Survey. The 30-questionnaire explores what potentially makes an employee happy at work and highlights the existing conditions that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who said support or work against an employee’s well-being. Studies have shown that happy workers in a statement that they have performed are likely to contribute more to an organisation, which results in higher productivity. well since taking office and mastered their The survey, jointly conceived and organised by the Singapore Human Resources Institute portfolios. (SHRI) and Align Group, can help organisations identify gaps that need to be filled to build PM Lee says both Mr Tan and Mr a positive workforce. The results in this survey will also contribute to the first national Wong have also worked hard on the benchmark of workplace happiness in Singapore. Visit http://happyworkplace.sg to have a say now. ground, winning the respect and trust of Singaporeans. PM Lee: Unionists Acknowledge Competition Getting Fiercer NTUC President Diana Chia congratulated Mr Tan on his promotion It’s been a practice Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has adopted for several years now – having a series of lunch discussions with unionists just before the May Day Rally to prepare at the May Day Dinner on 29 April 2014 for his speech. And two groups of union leaders met him last week for these sessions. In a where Mr Tan was Guest-of-Honour. posting on his Facebook page, Mr Lee said the unionists were generally upbeat. She said that Mr Tan truly deserved this He said: “It has been a good year for their members. Wages are generally rising. Many commendation. industries are crying out for more workers. At the same time, competition is getting “Since taking over the portfolio, fiercer.” many changes have taken place in a short PM Lee added that the unionists did have concerns, especially for two groups: older period of time such as workers and low-wage workers. the amendments to He stressed: “They know what the government is doing to help. They naturally would like us to do more. But they also worry about getting workers to feel more urgently the the Employment Act. need to upgrade their skills and to adapt to the changes.” The Labour Movement Mr Lee said he expects the relationship will address these with the Ministry (of issues at the May Manpower) to continue Day Rally on 1 May to be warm 2014 which will and better, be held at the new Devan Nair Institute progressing for Employment ahead.” and Employability, which will also be its official opening.
Congratulations Brother Teo Chee Hean Deputy Prime Minister Advisor to The Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers’ Union on being conferred the Medal of Honour Award The Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers’ Union 65 Lorong 24A Geylang The SMMWU Building Singapore 398589 Tel: 6294 2481 Website: www.smmwu.org.sg
Congratulations Nestlé Singapore (Pte) Ltd on being conferred the Plaque of Commendation (Star) Award DHL Global Forwarding (Singapore) Pte Ltd on being conferred the Plaque of Commendation Award The Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers’ Union 65 Lorong 24A Geylang The SMMWU Building Singapore 398589 Tel: 6294 2481 Website: www.smmwu.org.sg
12 MAY DAY DINNER NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 A Night Of Stars May Day celebrations get underway with a record number of recipients receiving the prestigious May Day Awards in over 50 years. By Florina Oo I t was an evening to celebrate annual May Day Dinner on Awards held in 1963. and honour the hard work 29 April 2014 at the Orchid For the first time, the top of dedicated unionists and Country Club, which was award honour this year – Medal organisations who have sought officiated by Guest-of-Honour of Honour – was presented to to bring about better jobs and Acting Minister for Manpower two outstanding individuals who better workers with better (Minister, with effect from 1 rendered distinguished services wages. May 2014) Tan Chuan-Jin. to the Labour Movement. Some 1,600 guests A total of 105 awardees They were Deputy Prime comprising tripartite partners received the May Day Awards Minister Teo Chee Hean and – senior government officials, across 13 different categories. Minister for Health Gan Kim company management and This is the highest number of Yong. (Refer to pages 18 and 19 trade unionists – attended the awardees since the first May Day for full write-ups) Pervasive PWM, Tripartism D elivering the opening address She admitted that it will not be easy at the May Day Dinner, NTUC as companies need to innovate their work President Diana Chia emphasised processes to make the best use of every that economic growth must be driven by resource. productivity improvements. Speaking on the Progressive Wage Model “Hence, we must continue to help (PWM), she said there is a need to make it “as companies create better jobs that are more pervasive as possible so that we can benefit productive, and at the same time, Easier, not just rank-and-file workers, but also PMEs Safer and Smarter to benefit our workers,” (Professionals, Managers and Executives) in she said. all sectors.” President Chia also encouraged workers She also urged Government agencies in to take advantage of every opportunity to each sector to take the lead in guiding these On this note, President Chia was heartened up-skill themselves. efforts. to see PWM taking root in sectors such as “By becoming better workers, we ensure “In short, we need strong and pervasive cleaning, security and healthcare. However, that we can secure and retain better jobs tripartism in every sector to drive this there is a need to speed up efforts amid intense that are more productive,” she said. qualitative shift,” she said. global competition, she added.
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 MAY DAY DINNER 13 Tripartism, The Singapore Edge Tripartism and harmonious industrial relations will be more important as Singapore restructures. Singapore should aspire to build a fair and inclusive society where every Singaporean is given the opportunity to pursue dreams and compete fairly for job opportunities on a level playing field, with no one left behind. This, he said, is the spirit behind the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) which will be introduced in August this year to institutionalise fair hiring practices for businesses operating in Singapore. UPLIFTING LOW-WAGE Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin (front) and NTUC Secretary- WORKERS General Lim Swee Say (behind Mr Tan) greeting guests at the event. Mr Tan stressed that special emphasis will go to uplift low- By Joshua Joseph wage workers to build a more inclusive society. S A total of 105 awards were distributed peaking at this year’s introduction of the Tripartite Mr Tan cited NTUC’s e2i’s at May Day Awards this year. May Day Dinner, Mediation Framework (TMF) (Employment and Employability) Acting Minister for in 2011. The TMF aims to Inclusive Growth Programme Manpower (Minister, with provide an avenue for Managers (IGP) as a useful initiative in effect from 1 May 2014) Tan and Executives who are union helping low-wage workers gain Chuan-Jin highlighted that members and who earn up to higher wages. tripartism and harmonious $4,500 a month to seek remedy As at December 2013, the IGP industrial relations will be for their employment disputes has already committed to helping “even more important going through a tripartite mediation 63,600 local low-wage workers forward as we progress on process. Many workplace from about 650 companies our restructuring journey”, disputes have been successfully receive wage increases of about especially as Singapore focuses resolved in the past three years. 15 per cent. on restructuring its economy He also highlighted NTUC’s and raising productivity. COVERING MORE Progressive Wage Model (PWM) The restructuring efforts Mr Tan shared that the tripartite which has put in place clear and productivity drive will be partners are considering wage-skill and career progression for the long haul and Mr Tan widening its coverage by pathways for workers, thus assured that the Government removing the $4,500 salary cap allowing them to earn wages will spare no effort to help and allowing more Managers that commensurate with skills, businesses restructure and and Executives other than those productivity and responsibilities. improve their productivity. It with substantial managerial Mr Tan said: “The PWM is now will also provide Singaporeans responsibilities to make use of it. our unique tripartite approach for with all the support they need Mr Tan said: “The NTUC has specific sectors that suffer from to upgrade and re-skill. been requesting that we further prevalent cheap-sourcing coupled strengthen this new mechanism with limited bargaining power on LOOKING AHEAD as a sustainable way to deal the part of the workers. For such As Singapore looks to with workplace disputes and sectors, the Government will progress ahead, Mr Tan said grievances, I fully support this.” legislate the tripartite-negotiated that as long as tripartite He added that the partners Progressive Wage Model.” partners ultimately share are also considering to expand In closing, Mr Tan reiterated: a win-win mindset and the already substantive list “As long as we keep together stand guided by a common of issues that can be heard as one… I’m confident that we conviction of creating a better through the TMF. The Ministry will continue to make Singapore future for Singapore, he was of Manpower will announce the a land of opportunities… we confident of seeing success. details when the review of TMF ultimately are trying to build a This common conviction is completed. place that we can all proudly call was apparent with the Mr Tan also urged that our home,” he said.
14 EVENTS NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 What’s Table Tennis An invigorating workout and a great way to Happening, meet new friends! What’s not to love about table tennis? Round up your fellow kakis and get the ball flying! Where Aranda Country Club Pool Pavilion*, 60 Pasir Ris Drive 3. From $1/hr. For enquiries, call 6584 6811 ext 30 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. * Subject to availability. 3D/2N Port Dickson Tour Fair Employment Practices From a splashing good time Information Session at the water theme park to an Employers and HR practitioners, it’s time to get the big picture adventurous river safari cruise on fair employment practices. Come and find out why you should to exciting sea sports activities, there’s implement non-discriminatory recruitment practices; what is never a dull moment at Port Dickson. meant by fair employment and how you can be a fair employer. The 14 to 16 Jun, Assemble at Aranda Country session will also provide you with tips and practical examples on producing Club (60 Pasir Ris Drive 3) Lobby at non-discriminatory job advertisements as well as how to attract, retain and 6.15am sharp on 14 Jun, $245/$228 develop the best talent for your organisation. (Member/Child aged between 3 to 12), $250/$233 (Union Member/Child), Every first Tues of the month starting from Jun, 3.30pm – 5pm, Tripartite $255/$238 (Guest/Child), Book by 7 Jun. For full itinerary and other details, Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP), 51 Bras Basah log on to www.arandaclub.org.sg and look under “Sports & Recreation”. Road, Manulife Centre, #04-07. To register, log on to www.tafep.sg and look For bookings and enquiries, call 6584 6811 ext 30 or email under “Events”. For enquiries, email email@example.com or call 6838 0969. firstname.lastname@example.org. Unleash The Dragon In You Job Fair For Transport And Celebrate the Chinese Dumpling Festival and Logistics Industry do your part for charity! Be part of the industry which Put up your paddles revolves around the world. and join in this Dragon Boating Immediate part-time and full-time event organised by nEbO where vacancies available for Drivers (Bus/ you will get to engage in a friendly Prime Mover), Logistics Assistants, Packers, Customer Service Officers, mini-competition with invited Warehouse Assistants and Equipment Operators. beneficiaries. 21 May, 2pm-4pm, Level 1, Registration Hub, NTUC’s e2i (Employment and 24 May, 9am – 1pm, Bedok Reservior. Employability Institute), 80 Jurong East St 21. To register, log on to e2i.com.sg For enquiries, email Cheng Guan at email@example.com. and look under “Upcoming Events”. Want to list your upcoming event? Drop us an email at LMNewsroom@ntuc.org.sg. NTUC THIS WEEK MANAGING EDITOR WRITERS ADVERTISING BOOKINGS/QUERIES SHONA TAN-JAMES firstname.lastname@example.org JOSHUA JOSEPH MARIMUTHU email@example.com Phone 6622 7009 EDITOR-AT-LARGE NICHOLAS LEE firstname.lastname@example.org Email email@example.com MARCUS LIN firstname.lastname@example.org FLORINA OO email@example.com PUBLISHER EDITORIAL CONSULTANTS ART DIRECTOR MAJORITY MEDIA PTE LTD LIM LI YIN firstname.lastname@example.org DANIEL GOH email@example.com Address 73 Bras Basah Road, NTUC Trade Union House RAMESH SUBBARAMAN firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR DESIGNERS #06-01 Singapore 189556 MOHAMED NASUHAR SOEYOETI email@example.com Phone +65 6622 7098 Fax +65 6327 5640 EDITORS NICOLETTE YEO firstname.lastname@example.org RYANNE NG email@example.com Email LMNewsroom@ntuc.org.sg GURMEET SINGH firstname.lastname@example.org SUBSCRIPTION PRINTER SENIOR WRITER JENNY LIAU email@example.com TIMES PRINTERS PTE LTD NASEEMA BANU MAIDEEN firstname.lastname@example.org © Copyright 2014 The publisher owns the copyright to all photographs and articles in this publication. No photograph or article may be reproduced in part or in full without the consent of the publisher. C100 M0 Y0 K0 C50 M0 Y100 K0 C15 M0 Y100 K0 The Labour Movement, Now Closer To U On The Go! IPHONE & IPAD Scan here for mobile app My NTUC featuring exclusive content: get the latest news, special offers, merchants listing and a lot more! ANDROID
16 MAY DAY SPECIAL NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 The Winners! A record high of 105 individuals and companies are honoured at this year’s May Day Dinner for their contributions to the Labour Movement. We are proud to showcase a few of them here… By Joshua Joseph and Florina Oo Distinguished Service (Star) Mr Ng Ser Miang Chairman, NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Limited Key Achievements: ➩ Helped FairPrice achieve outcomes it had set out in its five-year strategic plan ahead of schedule. ➩ Pivotal in fulfilling FairPrice’s social mission of offering affordable products to workers and union members. ➩ FairPrice grew its housebrand product offerings which provide 10 to 15 per cent savings compared to national brands; Union members enjoy benefits such as patronage rebates of over $215 and $80.3 million LinkPoints on purchases in the last five years as well as free used textbooks and study grants with FairPrice; FairPrice now has 280 outlets in multiple formats serving 500,000 customers daily. ➩ Drove FairPrice’s contribution of $40 million to the Labour Movement, FairPrice’s customers, employees and the less- privileged when the co-operative celebrated its 40th Anniversary. I am honoured to be conferred this prestigious ➩ Played an instrumental role in the incorporation of NTUC FairPrice award, but more importantly, it is a dedication Foundation Ltd in 2008, which has managed to raise $76 million to the many supporters of FairPrice, including the for the community to date. unions and union leaders and a tribute to fellow ➩ Led NTUC Choice Homes Co-operative Limited to become a board members, management and staff for their premier property developer recognised for affordable quality housing as the founding Chairman in February 1996. hard work and contribution to the community.” Comrade of Labour (Star) Mr Nachiappan RK Sinniah General Secretary, Union of Power and Gas Employees (UPAGE) Key Achievements: ➩ Continued to maintain constructive and proactive labour-management relations in the industry. In 2010, UPAGE rallied the industry, the Energy Market Authority and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency to launch the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications framework for the energy sector. ➩ Launched the UPAGE Endowment Fund with strong support from management partners. ➩ Nurtured a pool of younger leaders at UPAGE, involving them in union projects and giving them exposure to high level discussions with and outside the union. I humbly accept this award and dedicate it to all the members who have given their support since the formation of UPAGE. The camaraderie of fellow UPAGE Executive Council members and delegates made the service to the union possible. Special thank you to Singapore Power for their support, represented companies’ management partners for the good industrial relationship and the Labour Movement for the recognition...”
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 MAY DAY DINNER 17 Medal of Commendation (Gold) Mr Liak Teng Lit The award Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexandra Health System came as a Board Member, NTUC Unity Healthcare Co-operative Limited pleasant surprise and I thank NTUC for the Key Achievements: recognition. It has ➩ Instrumental in the launch of the Healthcare Cluster been my privilege Tripartite Workgroup and the Progressive Wage Model to work closely for the Healthcare Cluster. with NTUC over the ➩ This resulted in cluster-wide productivity improvements, years. By helping making jobs Easier, Smarter and Safer (ESS) for workers. our staff reach their ➩ Under his leadership, Alexandra Health System has full potential and built a culture of valuing its workers and practiced re- improving their work employment before the introduction of the Retirement conditions, we are and Re-employment Act in 2012. able to serve our ➩ Leads by example and constantly pushes workers and the patients better. I look organisation to innovate and generate creative solutions forward to many more that drive productivity and service improvements. years of collaboration with NTUC to Do Good and Do Well for our people.” Comrade of Labour Ms Joanne Chua Chor Hian Assistant General Secretary, Singapore Industrial & Services Employees’ Union (SISEU) Key Achievements: This ➩ Despite her busy schedule, she never fails to follow- award is up on union cases and goes the extra mile to assist recognition to members. my efforts and ➩ At the end of each month, she will initiate updates to motivates me to the union’s Executive Committee. give my best to ➩ To groom Branch Officials, she readily shares her serve longer in experiences and exposes them to different industrial the union.” relations matters. Medal of Commendation Mr Joseph Yong Soo Kyun Chief Operating Officer, NatSteel Holdings Pte Ltd Key Achievements: ➩ Meaningful dialogues between the unions – Metal Industries Without the Workers’ Union (MIWU) and NatSteel Employees’ union – workers’ has led to improved welfare of workers, while supporting contribution, union causes and events. NatSteel would not ➩ With his support, the company and unions reached mutual be where we are agreement on increment in allowances and better pay for today. We believe workers through Collective Agreement negotiations. in treating workers ➩ Launched a productive scheme at NatSteel so that employees fairly to earn their who regularly improve their productivity get rewarded and trust and loyalty. earn better pay. I am grateful to ➩ Committed to ensuring re-employed workers at NatSteel the union, workers retain the same salary package, with no changes to medical and NTUC for benefits. He chairs the Re-employment Review Committee recognising our at the unions level to review all appeal cases of workers joint efforts to certified as unfit to work to ensure that everyone is given fair make workers’ consideration and eliminate age discrimination. lives better.”
18 MAY DAY DINNER NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 Medal Of Honour Teo Chee Hean Deputy Prime Minister Co-ordinating Minister for National Security Minister for Home Affairs Chairman of Council of Advisors, United Workers of Electronics & Electrical Industries Advisor of The Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers’ Union Nominated by National Trades Union Congress Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also Co-ordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, has been the Advisor of The Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers’ Union (SMMWU) and the Chairman of the United Workers of Electronics & Electrical Industries (UWEEI) Council of Advisors since 2000 and 2004 respectively. Besides bringing to the unions a wealth of Mr Teo Chee Hean (right) receiving his award from NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say. experience, Brother Chee Hean is a strong believer in harmonious labour-management relations and helps ensure that the well-being and welfare The Interview of workers are taken care of. His strong support for unions’ initiatives has led to a high level of Ramesh Subarraman catches up with Mr Teo Chee Hean participation from management and union leaders, to get his thoughts on key labour issues on the occasion of bringing about productivity improvements, skills being conferred the Medal of Honour award. upgrading, as well as enhanced employability and prospects for workers. ON HELPING WORKERS… From 2010 till 2011, Brother Chee Hean “UWEEI faces a very challenging situation because technology is evolving chaired the National Productivity and Continuing so quickly, companies are looking for the most cost effective, cost efficient Education Council (NPCEC). As a strong believer places to site their factories in and the whole industry is so volatile. So our of how tripartism is a constructive arrangement Brothers and Sisters in UWEEI are having constantly to adjust to this cycle, new that leads to benefits for workers, he included technologies cycle, the possibility of retrenchments, retraining of skills, and so union leaders and Labour Movement (LM) on... I get to meet the bosses of the electronics companies through the unions… representatives in the Council. Under his we get down to issues such as skills upgrading, the kinds of programmes we leadership, NPCEC developed strategies that have in place, and it is the unions which brief the bosses on the various skills improve national productivity and promote close upgrading programmes, the various schemes that we have in place to help them collaboration amongst the business sector, workers, employ, retain workers even in this very challenging environment.” unions and the public sector. During his tenure, he contributed significantly to the LM’s efforts to ON PRODUCTIVITY CHALLENGES… assist low-wage workers through his endorsement “...While we were promoting productivity across all sectors in Singapore, one of the Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP). The particular group which was paid attention to were the low-wage workers. So $100 million IGP launched in 2010, administered we had a special scheme, the Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP), to look after by NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability our low-wage workers. We put aside $40 million dollars and we wanted to help Institute), spurred companies to share productivity address the concerns of 25,000 low-wage workers in Singapore to make sure gains with their low-wage workers as part of their that in the process of increasing skills levels and productivity in Singapore… productivity roadmap. these workers, too, have the opportunity to benefit and upgrade themselves…” As the Minister in charge of the Civil Service, Brother Chee Hean provides guidance on various ON TRIPARTISM IN SINGAPORE… manpower-related policies for the public sector. “It requires first of all sincerity on all sides, workers and unions, the companies This led to many changes including the review and the government, and a commitment to want to make it work… When you of the re-employment policy which makes it develop a co-operative stance, you see the benefits of it in terms of long-term more equitable for Civil Service Officers and employment, in terms of upgrading of skills, higher salaries that come along enhancements to the Medisave-cum-Subsidised with it and a stable and peaceful harmonious industrial environment that Outpatient (MSO) scheme. attracts even more investors and jobs for the future... (The Government) will For his significant contributions to the Labour continue to work together with the unions to make sure the workers are treated Movement, the National Trades Union Congress is fairly and they will continue to have a good life and good salaries in Singapore.” pleased to present Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean with the Medal of Honour Award.
NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 MAY DAY DINNER 19 Medal Of Honour Gan Kim Yong Minister for Health Chairman of Singapore Labour Foundation Chairman of Council of Advisors, Singapore Industrial & Services Employees’ Union Nominated by National Trades Union Congress Health Minister Gan Kim Yong has been the Chairman of the Singapore Industrial & Services Employees’ Union (SISEU) Council of Advisors since 2012. A man with a heart for workers, he understands the concerns and challenges that they face at the workplace, and remains committed to championing their rights. At the same time, he reinforces the importance of maintaining good labour-management relations, and strong tripartism in Singapore Brother Kim Yong is also the Chairman of the Singapore Labour Foundation (SLF) since 2011. Mr Gan Kim Yong (right) receiving his award from NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say. As the Chairman, he steers the strategic direction of SLF and sharpens its core role. Through prudent investments and assets restructuring, The Interviewys he ensures effective funding support to the Labour Movement to scale up and sustain Ramesh Subarraman chats with Mr Gan Kim Yong on various membership and leadership development the recession, unionists and trust. initiatives, as well as programmes targetted at various groups of workers and union members. ON BEATING THE 2009 RECESSION… Under his leadership, SLF and NTUC work “First, we had to ensure that the workers would be able to retain their jobs through NTUC Enterprise Co-operative Limited for as long as possible... we then had to help companies survive the crisis to expand and deepen the social impact of NTUC’s so that they can preserve the jobs for the workers. And when workers are social enterprises. facing these challenges, they may need to make adjustments, companies When Brother Kim Yong was the Manpower may have to adopt cost-cutting measures, we needed to find ways to help Minister, he played a critical role in building a the companies make the adjustments… We needed to think about various first class Continuing Education and Training schemes and programmes so that we could roll out these programmes to system to develop a globally competitive help the workers and employers in time… we also had to bear in mind how to Singapore workforce, and stepped up productivity take the opportunity of this recession to prepare ourselves better when the improvements to enhance manpower capability. economy recovers. (One way was) to step up on our productivity efforts and During the 2009 economic recession, he worked training so that when the economy recovered in time, we would be able to closely with NTUC and tripartite partners, and catch the upswing well.” swiftly introduced the Jobs Credit Scheme and the Skills Programme for Upgrading and Resilience ON A HEART FOR UNIONISTS… that helped companies cut costs and save jobs, as “I still remember when I first met many of them, I tended to be focussed a lot well as upgrade skills of their employees during on government policies... On one occasion, one of the more senior unionists the downturn. told me, ‘Mr Gan, what is most important in your interaction with the Brother Kim Yong was also instrumental workers is to tell them that you care about them. If you can convince them in developing manpower policies that meet that you care about them, they will listen to your explanation, they will accept the challenges of Singapore’s rapidly changing what you are doing is for their benefit’...” business environment. These include the introduction of the Central Provident Fund LIFE ON THE TRUST MANTRA… scheme and the re-employment legislation. He “One particular area which we need to pay attention to is how to strengthen led the Tripartite Committee on Employability this mutual trust among the government, workers and employers. Every of Older Workers and the Tripartite Panel on time, when we make adjustments to policies, whether it is adjustment to Community Engagement at Workplaces, and CPF contribution rate or adjustment to foreign worker levy or employment served as the Advisor to the Tripartite Alliance for practices, it will benefit some but it may hurt some other stakeholders. But Fair Employment Practices. if we are able to strengthen this mutual trust and common (understanding), For his significant contributions to the Labour then we can bring all parties together to understand that in whatever we do, Movement, the National Trades Union Congress it is always for the benefit of Singapore and Singaporeans...” is pleased to present Minister Gan Kim Yong with the Medal of Honour Award.
20 PROGRESSION NTUC This Week 01 MAY 2014 Licensing The Cleaning Business Cleaning businesses are getting all the help they need to prepare for licensing that’s around the corner. By Naseema Banu Maideen W ith just about five revised definitions of cleaning more months to go job types (refer to Table). Revised Progressive Wage Model before all general “We have received feedback Group 3: Group 1: Group 2: Conservancy cleaning businesses in Singapore from them that it could really Office & Commercial F&B Establishment e.g. Public Cleansing have to be licensed before 1 be a challenge for them to Cleaners e.g. Hawker Centre, Truck Drivers (Class 4/5) September 2014, NTUC is meet the definitions that e.g. Office, Schools, Hospitals Foodcourts $1,700 and Polyclinics Cleaners steadily working closely with were given under the original Supervisor / Mechanical service buyers and service recommendations. That was Supervisor Supervisor Drivers $1,600 $1,600 providers to ease them into the the reason why we made some $1,600 licensing regime. refinements to actually reflect Multi-Skilled Cleaners Multi-skilled Cleaners Multi-skilled Cleaners cum Machine Operator cum Machine Operator The Environmental Public on the practice on the ground,” cum Machine Operator $1,400 / Refuse Collector $1,400 $1,400 Health Amendment Bill came he added. Dishwasher / Refuse into force on 1 April 2014. Outdoor Cleaners / Collector $1,200 General Cleaners Since then, only 70 out of the INTRODUCTION OF Healthcare Cleaners $1,200 $1,200 over 900 cleaning companies GUIDING PRINCIPLE Table-top Cleaners $1,100 in Singapore have submitted As a guiding principle, workers General / Indoor Cleaners General Cleaners their application, said NTUC whose job responsibilities fall $1,000 $1,000 Assistant Secretary-General into more than one job category Zainal Sapari at a media briefing shall be deemed to be in the on 25 April 2014 held at job category that he spends NTUC’s e2i (Employment and a majority of his time in, and one new category called Employability Institute). thus, the corresponding wage ‘Multi-Skilled Cleaners cum In the lead-up to September According to him, the level will apply. Machine Operators’. 2014, the TCC has committed Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners ➩ The ‘Class 3 Mechanical to the following ongoing (TCC), which was set up in REVISIONS TO Drivers’classification will outreach efforts: October 2012, has held several PROGRESSIVE WAGE now just be ‘Mechanical a) Stage 1: Preparing discussions to gather feedback MODEL FOR CLEANING Drivers’. Cleaning Service Buyers from industry players. INDUSTRY and Service Providers When the TCC met on 2 ➩ ‘Out-Patient and REVISED DEFINITIONS OF n The National Environment Agency April 2014, it made refinements ‘In-Patient’ cleaners are CLEANING JOB TYPES (NEA), is working on in three key areas based on now both classified under ➩ Inclusion of definitions for a leaflet to provide the feedback – introduction of ‘Healthcare Cleaners’. the various cleaning jobs licensing information to relevant parties. guiding principle, revisions to ➩ ‘Multi-Skilled Cleaners’ referred to in the PWM. the Progressive Wage Model and ‘Machine Operators’ ➩ Modification of existing b) Stage 2: Reaching out for the cleaning industry and will be combined under definitions. to Cleaners n Information kits will be created to share with cleaners on the TCC recommendation. n These kits will be distributed to U Care members and union members who are cleaners, those who attend the NTUC U Care Centre’s outreach events. c) Stage 3: Educating the Public n Leveraging on social media platforms as well as websites of the respective tripartite partners, information Workers in the cleaning industry can now look forward to progressive wages. will be disseminated to educate the public, In a recent survey conducted by the Building Construction And Timber Industries who can act as Employees’ Union (BATU), 6,690 cleaners from 32 unionised cleaning companies are already whistleblowers against companies who do benefitting from the Progressive Wage Model ahead of the licensing legislation. This makes not comply with the up about 67 per cent of all cleaners who are union members under BATU. BATU has 48 licensing. unionised cleaning companies.
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