NTUC Assistant Secretary-General Melvin Yong was at NTUC’s e2i (Employment and Employability Institute) on 15 June 2023 to thank 50 waste management workers for their essential work keeping Singapore clean and green.
He was accompanied by Senior Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad. They held a fireside chat with the attendees on the upcoming waste management Progressive Wage Model (PWM) implementation on 1 July 2023.
Mr Yong shared that he looked forward to the PWM being implemented in the waste management industry.
He said: “I am sure that everyone will agree that waste collection is an essential service that we cannot do without every day. While the PWM uplifts the wages and work prospects of the workers in this industry, we hope that everyone can show appreciation to these essential workers who play an important role in ensuring that we all have a clean and safe living environment.”
Mr Zaqy echoed Mr Yong’s sentiments, noting that with the implementation, over nine in 10 lower-wage workers in Singapore would have benefited from the model.
“And we have seen the impact. Last year, we saw the real wages grow 4.7 per cent for our lower-wage workers, compared to 2.0 real wage increase for our median workers,” he added.
A look back
In 2021, NTUC worked with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) to expand the PWM to the industry.
By then, the PWM had already been introduced to the cleaning (1 September 2014), landscape (30 June 2016), security (1 September 2016) and lift and escalator (1 May 2019) sectors.
To oversee the implementation of the PWM, the tripartite partners also formed the Tripartite Cluster for Waste Management (TCWM), chaired by NTUC Operations & Mobilisation Director Fahmi Aliman.
On 24 January 2022, the TCWM released its PWM recommendations during a learning journey at Paya Lebar Quarters, with the Government accepting the recommendations on the same day.
The implementation date was set on 1 July 2023 to allow employers to adjust to the changes.
Better work prospects and wages
The PWM sets out to provide workers in the waste collection and materials recovery subsectors with improved wages to help attract and retain talent in the industry.
Some 3,000 workers are expected to benefit from its implementation.
It also provides workers with a clearer progression pathway and sets out training requirements for workers at various levels to enhance their skills and employability.
Once in effect, workers in the waste collection and materials recovery subsectors will have a minimum stipulated salary, which will be increased annually from July 2023 till 2028.
For example, a waste collection crew member and a materials recovery sorter can expect an annual compounded growth rate of 48 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively.
They will also receive an annual PWM bonus of no less than one month’s salary from 2024.