NTUC Back to School Programme continues to help Low-Income Union Members
24 October 2007
1 The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)’s Back to School Programme returns this year with greater assistance amounting to $2.5 million for low-income union members and their children. Since the programme started in 2005, we have handed out NTUC Back to School vouchers worth $1.9 million in 2005 and $2 million in 2006, which helped about 19,000 and 20,000 children of low-income union members respectively defray their expenses in preparation for the new school term.
2 As Singapore becomes more affluent and the standard of living rises, the NTUC family is aware that there will always be the bottom one-fifth of the population that will require some form of help to meet their basic needs. As an inclusive and caring labour movement, we hope that this programme would help address low-income union members’ concerns of having insufficient money towards their children’s education needs. Thus, NTUC has decided to continue this programme for the third year and has increased the amount set aside for it to $2.5 million this year. This amount is sponsored by the Singapore Labour Foundation (SLF) and NTUC, and is expected to benefit up to 25,000 needy children.
3 The NTUC Back to School Programme would involve a three-day NTUC Back to School Fair, held together with NTUC FairPrice Used Textbooks Project, from 1 to 3 December 2007. In its 25th year of inception, the NTUC FairPrice Used Textbooks Project has been providing financial relief for needy families with school-going children by giving them free second-hand textbooks. Priority collection by identified needy families will take place on 1 December, while the public can collect the books on 3 December.
4 The NTUC Back to School vouchers can be used to purchase items such as textbooks, assessment books, school uniforms, stationery, shoes and haircuts during the three-day fair at Downtown East (venue provided by NTUC Club) and Yio Chu Kang Community Club. More details of the fair will be available later.
NTUC Back to School Voucher Application Opens
5 The application for the NTUC Back to School vouchers opens on 24 October 2007 and closes on 16 November 2007. For union members to qualify for the NTUC Back to School vouchers for their school-going children from Pre-school to Polytechnic levels, they have to meet the following criteria:
6 Successful applicants will be given $100 worth of NTUC Back to School vouchers per child (up to three children per family). Apart from utilising the vouchers at the NTUC Back to School fairs, these vouchers can also be used to purchase school-related items at authorised suppliers and other participating retail outlets until 31 January 2008.
7 NTUC union members who are eligible for the NTUC Back to School vouchers can apply through their unions or through NTUC from 24 October 2007 to 16 November 2007. Ordinary Branch (OB) union members may apply through their respective unions while General Branch (GB) union members can download the application forms from http://www.ntuc.org.sg. They can also obtain the application forms from NTUC One-Stop Centre located at No. 1, Marina Boulevard, #B1-01. Enquiries may be directed to NTUC Hotline at 6213 8008. NTUC and affiliated unions will process the applications and issue vouchers to the successful applicants starting from mid-November 2007.
NTUC FairPrice Used Textbooks Project Donation Drive
8 The public can help support the NTUC FairPrice Used Textbooks Project by donating their used textbooks. Textbooks for Primary One to Secondary Five levels and for all subjects are needed. To donate, members of the public can drop off their used textbooks at any NTUC FairPrice supermarket and hypermarket across Singapore from 5 November to 30 November 2007.
Mr Ong Ah Heng
 NTUC FairPrice Used Textbooks Project will be held on 1 and 3 December 2007. It will be closed for book-sorting on 2 December 2007.
 The full list of participating vendors will be released at a later date.
The NTUC Back to School Programme aims to help lower-income union members meet expenses of their school-going children at the start of the new school year. The NTUC Back to School Programme is usually held in conjunction with the NTUC FairPrice Used Textbooks Project, where needy students can pick out and collect used textbooks. Students can then use the NTUC Back to School vouchers for other items such as assessment books, uniforms and shoes at the NTUC Back to School fairs. After the fairs, students can continue to purchase these items from authorised suppliers and participating retail outlets in preparation for a new school term until 31 Jan 2008.
About the NTUC FairPrice Used Textbooks Project
NTUC FairPrice started the Used Textbooks Project in 1983, as part of its community service initiative. This evergreen project had a humble beginning, starting with a small scale of 33 FairPrice supermarkets collecting a few thousand books. Today, 81 FairPrice supermarkets and hypermarkets island-wide serve as collection points for used textbooks donated by the public. These books are then sent to the distribution centres where student volunteers sort them according to academic levels and subjects. Besides helping needy students, the Used Textbooks Project also helps to promote a greener Singapore through recycling and encourage the value of thrift. Since 1983, the NTUC FairPrice Used Textbooks Project has helped more than 100,000 needy students save more than $6 million in textbook expenses.
About National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)
The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is a national confederation of trade unions in the industrial, service and public sectors representing 500,000 workers in Singapore. NTUC comprises 63 affiliated unions, six affiliated taxi associations, 12 social enterprises and three related organisations. NTUC’s objectives are to help Singapore stay competitive and workers remain employable for life; to enhance the social status and well-being of workers; and to build a strong, responsible and caring labour movement. NTUC's vision is to be an inclusive labour movement for all collars, all ages and all nationalities. For more details on NTUC, please visit our website at http://www.ntuc.org.sg/
About NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Limited
NTUC Fairprice Co-operative Ltd was founded by the labour movement in 1973, with a social mission to moderate the cost of living in Singapore. From one supermarket, it has grown to become Singapore’s largest retailer, with a network of 217 outlets comprising 76 FairPrice supermarkets, 1 FairPrice Finest, 2 FairPrice Xtra, 2 Homemarts, 19 FairPrice Xpress and 117 Cheers convenience stores. NTUC FairPrice also owns a Fresh Food Distribution Centre and a centralised warehousing and distribution company.
Today, with its multiple retail formats serving the varied needs and interests of people from all walks of life, the social mission of NTUC FairPrice has evolved to make the dream of living well accessible to everyone by moderating the costs of the good life.
About NTUC Club
Established in 1986, NTUC Club provides value-for-money entertainment and recreational facilities to all. Today, the NTUC Club has grown into one of the largest entertainment and leisure group in Singapore and has repositioned itself as a one-stop entertainment cum lifestyle provider. Over the years, it has expanded to include a world class theme park (Escape Theme Park); Singapore’s largest water theme park (Wild Wild Wet); three holiday resorts - Costa Sands Resort (Downtown East), Costa Sands Resort (Pasir Ris) and Costa Sands Resort (Sentosa) - five clubhouses (Happy Days, Jest D'Place, Union Square, DXO and Scarlet City); the Spa @ Aranda and a one-stop recreation cum lifestyle complex (Downtown East).
About Singapore Labour Foundation
Founded in 1977, Singapore Labour Foundation (SLF) was set up with the mission to improve the welfare of union members and further the development of the trade union movement in Singapore. SLF has 79 institutional members comprising NTUC affiliated unions, associations and co-operatives.
Frequent Chinese Translations