Doing more to enable younger people to understand the importance of tripartism.
Josephine Teo, Chairperson of the Ong Teng Cheong Labour Leadership Institute (OTCi) Board of Governors emphasised this message during a Labour Movement appreciation event on 15 November 2023 at the Amara Hotel.
The event was held to honour outgoing OTCi Chairman Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who held the role for 21 years. Mr Tharman is also the President of Singapore.
The event also marked a warm welcome for Mrs Teo, who was appointed the new OTCi Chairperson on 19 September 2023.
Mrs Teo, who is also Communications and Information Minister, makes a return to the Labour Movement with her new role, marking a significant homecoming.
She held various appointments in the Labour Movement from 2005 to 2011, including NTUC Assistant Secretary-General, NTUC Youth Development Unit Alignment Director, NTUC Staff Centric Director and Singapore Industrial and Services Employees’ Union (SISEU) Executive Secretary.
Other OTCi Board of Governors members, OTCi Audit Committee and Examiner Board members, and NTUC Central Committee members also attended the event.
Mrs Teo shared that OTCi will be doing more to help younger union leaders and the wider labour community understand the continued importance of tripartism in Singapore’s growth. She added that the institute will be rolling out new initiatives in due time.
Mr Tharman also shared his vision for the next stage of OTCi’s growth.
He said that the professionals, managers, and executives of the future will need a tripartite approach to take it forward.
To support this endeavour, he suggested equipping union leaders with in-demand skills like Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“This is, to my mind, a major new opportunity, and a demand of the Labour Movement to help this large group of white-collar workers to use AI and these tools to secure themselves in their jobs but also to do even better jobs,” he said.
Mrs Teo also paid tribute to Mr Tharman for providing financial guidance to help SISEU grow and advise union leaders on their role in helping workers advance.
She also highlighted how he improved workers’ lives by raising the retirement and re-employment ages, implementing the Progressive Wage Model, and providing better protection to platform workers.