THE Singapore civil service will pay a mid-year bonus of 0.35 month for all officers, the Public Service Division (PSD) said on Monday (Jun 20) - up from the 0.3-month payout in the year before.
The PSD said that the payment takes into account the official gross domestic product forecast for 2022, with growth likely to fall between 3 per cent and 4 per cent. The public service annual variable component, which is paid twice-yearly, is pegged to economic growth and sometimes used as a reference by the private sector.
Junior officers will get an extra one-time payment of S$200 for in grades equivalent to MX13(I) and MX14, compared with S$350 in the year-ago period; or S$400 in grades equivalent to MX15 and MX16 or Operations Support Scheme Grades III to V, compared with S$700 before.
These refer to entry-level ranks, typically for fresh graduates and diploma holders. The higher payout to junior grades is part of what the PSD dubbed "a progressive approach" to the bonus.
"The pandemic has underscored the importance of a strong public service and the government deeply appreciates the hard work and perseverance of all public officers who have contributed to the Covid-19 fight and Singapore's economic recovery," the PSD said in its statement.
The PSD added that "the government will continue to monitor the economic situation closely" and will also review National Wages Council guidelines later in the year to determine the size of the year-end bonus. The civil service year-end bonus came to 1 month's pay in 2021, with junior officers getting another S$500.
Cham Hui Fong, deputy secretary-general at the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), said the payout is a "timely recognition" of the civil servants' dedication in serving the people during the pandemic period.
"We support the Public Service Division's announcement of the mid-year AVC and lump sum payments for the junior officers," said Cham.
She said that NTUC also urges employers and employees, from both the public and private sectors, to constantly transform themselves so that they remain competitive and seize opportunities. "This should lead to better business and work prospects so that in the longer term, it leads to higher productivity and better wages."
Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE), said that the union was agreeable with the government's decision.
"Given the current economic uncertainties, geopolitical tensions and inflationary pressures, we appreciate the moderate increase in the mid-year AVC compared with last year's mid-year AVC, with more for the junior and lower income officers," he said.
"We hope that things will turn around so that there will be better outcomes at the end of the year."