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Security officers are vital partners of the Home Team

With higher wages and the industry transformation and digitalisation, a job in security is no longer seen as the last option when no other jobs are available.

Security officers are vital partners of the Home Team. They protect the many places where we live and work. During this pandemic, security officers have stepped up to help support various operations including enforcing safe management measures. Their dedication and professionalism are to be appreciated. Ultimately, transforming the industry and raising the wages of security officers require a whole-of-society effort. We must be prepared to pay more for better services.

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retrenchment singapore union leader

“At first, I felt like I had lost the battle. As much as possible, I wanted more people to stay. We tried our best… We pushed, and pushed, and pushed. We asked the management, ‘Why can’t we go for a bigger pay cut? Let’s hold for few more months as the Government is giving subsidies and grants. We tried as much as possible, and we were able to save another eight or nine workers. I know that’s not a huge number, but that is still nine people whom we fought for and made sure they kept their job.”

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There is a loud minority clamouring that the differentiated measures are unfair. But the truth is, majority of our workforce is vaccinated. As of 17 Oct 2021, 96% of the total workforce has been vaccinated. Nevertheless, there remains around 113,000 employees who have yet to be vaccinated. Of these 113,000 employees, only a small proportion are medically ineligible for vaccination in Singapore.

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unemployment insurance

The topic of having an unemployment insurance in Singapore is not new. In fact, since 2016, Labour MP Patrick Tay has broached the subject in Parliament and called for unemployment support for PMEs who are retrenched and transiting into their new jobs.

Having unemployment support can help tide them through this tricky transition period. This reduces the amount of stress that they undergo and the chance that they would pick an unsuitable job. Nevertheless, we should not forget that there’s a need to balance the support rendered. It should not become a disincentive to work.

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migrant workers

Thankfully, the workers’ concerns are being resolved. This was within a day after their plight was brought to attention. To confirm that the issues that residents were facing are being addressed, the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC)’s staff accompanied by representatives from the Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Employees’ Union (SMEEU), have since visited the dormitory to engage with residents. Kudos to their efforts in looking out for the welfare of our foreign workers during such a difficult time!

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mature intern

There are many life lessons and work skills that we can learn from mature employees. Does ageism exist in the workplace in Singapore?

The Retirement and Re-Employment Bill 2021 was introduced in Parliament recently. These Bills support mature employees who wish to work longer. The Bills will see the retirement age and re-employment age increase to 65 and 70 respectively. This would support older workers to continue working for longer if they wished to do so.

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Union membership is strength, and so it is.

You may think little of union membership when all is well but there may come a time when you find that having your union standing with you and for you make a big difference. Sarah knows it all too well. When Sarah was dismissed wrongfully, her union Building Construction and Timber Industries Employees’ Union (BATU) stepped in to guide her.

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We all know that Speaker Tan Chuan Jin is not only a talented photographer, he uses his skill to do good for charities.

When the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) U Care Fund and Blockchain Association Singapore (BAS) announced their inaugural non-fungible token (NFT) charity auction event, Blockchain For Good!, to raise S$250,000 for the NTUC-U Care Fund to help lower-income union members and their families, guess what Mr Tan did? He contributed his photos of course!

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PHV driver

Despite the challenges that she has faced as a freelancer, Angeline, a PHV driver, chose this path as it offers her flexibility. She looks forward to the day she can provide a better life for herself and her son.

In spite of the challenges, Angeline has been very resilient and resourceful. As part of the National Private Hire Vehicles Association (NPHVA), she qualified for some grants that are aimed at helping freelancers tide through this difficult period. The Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) paid out $3,000 a month for 3 months as part of the Supplementary Budget 2020. This helped to cover Angeline’s car rental which is roughly $100 a day. The COVID-19 Driver Relief Dun (CDRF) is also paying her $10 a day over 2 months and then $5 over the last month. 

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