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NTUC and USE Bring Security Agency to Task for Attempting to Reset 300 Officers’ Wages

The egregious practice attempted to work around the mandatory requirements set by the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) for the security sector.
Model ID: 556aef30-3b7a-428c-8853-2160f28d5ce8 Sitecore Context Id: 556aef30-3b7a-428c-8853-2160f28d5ce8;
By Ian Tan Hanhonn 07 Feb 2023
Model ID: 556aef30-3b7a-428c-8853-2160f28d5ce8 Sitecore Context Id: 556aef30-3b7a-428c-8853-2160f28d5ce8;

NTUC and the Union of Security Employees (USE) have taken a security agency to task for attempting to reset the wages and employment terms of 300 security officers.


The agency has since agreed to conduct joint engagements with its affected workers to establish remedial actions after the union involved the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) in its conciliation efforts.


NTUC Secretary-General Ng Chee Meng revealed the case in a media statement on 7 February 2023. The security company was not identified in the statement.


He said that such actions go against the spirit of the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) and cannot be condoned.


He added: “The case is now in the midst of conciliation with the Manpower Ministry. NTUC and the USE will keep a very close watch on this case, and we will do our very best to ensure that our security officers are protected.”


Company Attempts to Reset Wages


Union members brought the company’s egregious practices to USE’s attention late last year.


The security agency, which hires more than 1,000 officers, had demoted the 300 officers as it no longer had the contracts to keep them at their current employed job ranks.


Mr Ng said that this forced demotion was an attempt to reset the wages of the security officers.


After USE had engaged the agency, the latter agreed not to demote the security officers but instead went to extend the working hours of these officers. Mr Ng shared that this was another attempt to reset the employment terms of the security officers.


Progressive Wage Model for the Security Industry


The PWM for the outsourced private security sector was first announced in 2014 and implemented in 2016.


Today, the basic wages of licensed security officers, before including overtime pay, stand at $1,650 – 50 per cent higher than what it was back in 2016.


The Security Tripartite Cluster (STC) committee, consisting of representatives from industry associations, employers, service buyers, unions and government agencies, has since recommended that the basic wages for personnel with the rank of Security Officer be increased to $2,650 by 2024.


The STC also recommends that extra work hours be capped at 72 hours a month to protect officers from working beyond their existing shift patterns.


Additionally, the Labour Movement has reminded companies to consult their respective unions and refer to the Tripartite Guidelines on Managing Excess Manpower before undertaking actions that may impact workers.