SINGAPORE: Civil servants in Singapore will receive a 0.45-month mid-year bonus and a one-off payment of at least S$200, the Public Service Division (PSD) said on Thursday (Jun 13).
Lower-wage civil servants in Grades IV and V of the Operations Support Scheme (OSS) will receive a higher lump sum payment of S$300.
Around 1,400 civil servants will benefit from the higher lump sum payment.
For civil servants in Grade V of the OSS, there will also be a built-in wage increase of up to S$50, in addition to their annual increment.
This year's mid-year payment took into consideration the recommendations of the National Wages Council, and was decided on in close consultation with the public sector unions.
The payments signal the Government’s "continued commitment to support lower-wage civil servants", said PSD, noting that the Singapore economy grew by 1.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 and is expected to grow by 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent for the full year based on preliminary estimates.
"The civil service mid-year annual variable component of 0.45 month is a reflection of the lower GDP forecast and the economic uncertainties caused by the trade tensions," said Ms Cham Hui Fong, assistant secretary-general of National Trades Union Congress.
"We must continue to push ahead with innovation and training to raise productivity. We will work closely with PSD and the unions to boost their skills levels and continue to invest in job redesign to enhance the job value," she added.
The Amalgamated Union of the Public Daily Rated Workers said that it "understands that the lower pay out this year is in view of Singapore’s slower economic growth" and urged members to be prudent in their spending.
Meanwhile, the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE) described the mid-year bonus as "reasonable" given the uncertain external environment and slower expected growth at home.
"Especially in such disruptive times, our public officers must remain relevant and adapt to the changing dynamics through skills upgrading in areas of digitalisation and the use of new technologies," said Mr Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari, general secretary of AUPE.
"This will help drive productivity, enable our officers to pursue higher value jobs and eventually help uplift their lives," he added.
The mid-year payments will be made in July.
"The Government will decide on the year-end AVC payment for civil servants after taking into consideration Singapore's economic performance in the second half of 2019," said PSD.