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No mid-year bonus for civil servants, superscale officers to take one-time pay cut of 0.5 or 1 month

SINGAPORE — In view of the economic crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, all civil servants here will not receive any mid-year bonus, while public officers in superscale grades will take a one-time salary cut of either 0.5 or one month, with those in the higher grades taking a bigger cut.

No mid-year bonus for civil servants, superscale officers to take one-time pay cut of 0.5 or 1 month

Civil servants here will not receive a mid-year bonus, and public officers in superscale grades will take a one-time pay cut.

SINGAPORE — In view of the economic crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, all civil servants here will not receive any mid-year bonus, while public officers in superscale grades will take a one-time salary cut of either 0.5 or one month, with those in the higher grades taking a bigger cut.

In a media statement on Thursday (June 18), the Public Service Division (PSD) said the Government has decided that there will not be any mid-year Annual Variable Component (AVC) payment to civil servants this year.

The pay cut for officers in superscale grades comes on top of the earlier half-month cut taken by senior public service officers in key leadership positions, which was announced in February, PSD said.

It noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has taken an unprecedented toll on the economic situation, both externally and domestically.

Based on the latest estimates, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has downgraded the 2020 economic growth forecast to -7 to -4 per cent, down from the earlier forecast of -4 to -1 per cent.

“In deciding on the year-end AVC payments later this year, the Government will take into consideration the National Wages Council's recommendations to give special consideration for lower-wage workers,” PSD said.

Last year, the civil service gave its employees a mid-year bonus of 0.45 month’s pay in July. It was slightly lower than the half-month payout that civil servants received in 2017 and 2018.

In an internal note to public officers that was made available to the media, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said that he is thankful for the hard work and dedication of all public service officers.

“If the economic situation is better at year's end, we can then consider if there can be a year-end AVC payment, especially for lower-wage workers. We will also recognise your significant contributions through (a) performance bonus,” said Mr Chan.

Responding to the PSD's announcement, Ms Cham Hui Fong, the deputy secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), said that the union “supports PSD in putting a difficult but necessary pause on the mid-year AVC due to the grim economic conditions in the first half of 2020”.

“We are cognisant of the current testing situation where economic uncertainties, stalled business outlook and looming job losses are on most Singaporeans’ minds. While the worst may have yet to come, we must let the safe reopening of our economy, reinvigorating of our businesses, preserving of jobs and training of our workers take precedence,” she said.

Mr Raman Kathavarayan, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers, said that he is heartened to see the Government’s efforts in recognising the sacrifices and work done by civil servants who have been at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19.

“Should our economy improve by the end of this year, I sincerely hope that the Government could provide an additional monetary supplement for our low-wage employees working in the public sector, as they have borne the deeper brunt of the pandemic,” he said.

Mr Sanjeev Kumar Tiwari, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees, said that for Singapore to “emerge faster and stronger from the crisis, collective efforts are needed across all sectors to adapt, transform, save and create new jobs”.

“We will continue to support our officers and assist them as best as possible. Let's keep sight on the recovery and ride through this together,” he added.

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Public Service Division bonus salary civil servants economy Covid-19 Chan Chun Sing

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