Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced that up to 3,000 local workers in the waste management sector are set to be covered under a new progressive wage model. (PWM).

This will provide a “clear career progression pathway for workers in the sector to earn better wages as they improve their skills and productivity”.

The expansion by the tripartite partners, marks the fifth sector where workers will be protected from stagnating wages.

Currently, approximately 80,000 workers in the cleaning, security, and landscape sectors are under the PWM. Said PWM refers to ‘wage ladders’ that are designed to raise the salaries of low-wage workers through upskilling and improvements to productivity.

The PWM was originally implemented in the cleaning sector in 2015 before being slowly expanded to the security and landscaping sectors in 2016. It will take effect in the lifts and escalator maintenance sector in 2022.

The move to expand the PWM to the waste management sector is a “first step in the broader effort by the Tripartite Workgroup for Lower-Wage Workers to develop a multi-year roadmap to uplift the employment outcomes and well-being of low-wage workers,” said the MOM.

To oversee the implementation of the PWM, the tripartite partners have formed a Tripartite Cluster for Waste Management, which will be chaired by Mr Fahmi Aliman, Director of Operations & Mobilisation at NTUC and co-chaired by Mr Felix Loh, Deputy Honorary Secretary at the Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF).

The waste management cluster will comprise representatives from service buyers, service providers, unions, and government agencies. It will develop the job ladders, training requirements and wage benchmarks of the PWM.

“It will consult multiple stakeholders in the process, to help ensure that the progressive wage model is tailored to the unique conditions of the sector and benefits all stakeholders – workers can upskill and enjoy higher wages, employers can raise the productivity of their operations, and service buyers can benefit from improved services,” MOM said.


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