It is nice to know that you will be meeting the MOM officials soon. Can we know who are the MOM officials involved?
Can you publish your agenda on your blog so that we can add to the list using the comment box?
Is there a moderator or someone to take the minutes of meeting? What is the duration of this meeting? Maybe you can allocate more time for more pressing issues.
I have compiled my wish list below:
1) Raise wages at the bottom. Propose minimum wage of $7/h. Sometimes, the wages for low level jobs are so low that it is not even enough for the monthly HDB housing loan. So, most locals would shun such jobs even when they are desperate for one. Many employers complain that they cannot find locals, but the pay is just too low for us to survive in Singapore.
2) Better protection for temp and freelance workers.
3) Make jobs more attractive with shorter shifts. eg. 8h shift instead of 12h shift.
4) Encourage flexible hours by having staggered working hours to avoid congestion during peak hours.
5) The problem in Singapore is mostly structured unemployment. There is a gap between jobs available and the skills and experience of PMETs.There is a need for better utilisation of the skills and experience of PMETs instead of becoming cabbies, service staff, cleaners etc.
6) Reduced work stress by creating a more compassionate work environment. The govt should emphasize that results are not everything, but rapport between colleagues are more important. Thus, workplace bullying/ exploitation would reduce. There is also a need for an avenue to report such abuses without repercussions for the worker.
7) The officers at CDCs, e2i etc. should understand the needs of job-seekers better to provide better job-matching. They should give priority to the long-term jobless when there are suitable vacancies available. Many people have gone through courses offered by CDCs, e2i etc. without any job offers afterwards.
There are also many other issues, but these are the more pressing ones.
Thank you for your time.
Thanks for your mail.
We will include your issues on top of our own list when we meet up with MOM officers on 31st Oct.
We try to arrange an informal session with MOM every six months to discuss the manpower issues that affect Singaporeans.
I can put up a public note after the session if MOM allows it.
Workplace bullying and discrimination seem to be the top subject here as I have also received several emails from readers wanting such a topic to be addressed.
We have brought this up before during our first dialogue six months ago and I guess we will have to remind them about this problem during our forthcoming discussion.
Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices (TAFEP) officers will also be there and they are the best persons to address such issue.
We have all along fight for a Ombudsman to be set up here as its independent and can arbitrate without prejudice.
Many estranged executives go to MOM or TAFEP to seek redress on unfair dismissal and often their hands are tied as our employment act only covers executives earning below a certain minimum wage.
Employers know this loophole and have exploited it to their advantage by sacking executives using the employment terms stated in the employment letter.
We also hope to bring in the SNEF and ASME for our next session next year if possible.
If you want to come along for the meeting on 31st Oct, please let me know so that I can arrange.
Thanks again for taking time to write to us.
Once again, you have our assurance that we will present your interests at the meeting.
Editor’s Note: If you have any pressing issues and want us to raise with MOM officers during our discussion on 31st Oct, please use the comment page below or email me at email@example.com.