Somehow I knew this is coming.....
I just can't help whethere does the term "Public Services" meant anything to them.
Paying the (super)market rate
Wages of ministers, civil servants to go up as Govt seeks to keep its talent
Friday • March 23, 2007
TO KEEP pace with the growing salaries of the private sector, the Government is revising the pay of its ministers and civil servants.
For officers of the Administrative Service — the cream of the civil service — this is the first time that an adjustment has been made since 2000.
A formal announcement on the changes will be made in Parliament on April 9.
The worldwide hunt for talent is intense and to remain an attractive employer, the Public Service, too, had to keep pace with the private market, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said yesterday.
I wonder what is the turn over rate in our Public Services.
Speaking at the annual administrative service dinner and promotion ceremony, Mr Lee, who is also the Finance Minister, cited the Administrative Service as one of the many services that had "fallen behind".
He described two key salary benchmarks that the Administrative Service, which employs some 230 officers, uses in calculating its salaries.
The first is the "Staff Grade 1" rank for senior Permanent Secretaries, especially those leading the larger ministries. This benchmark is also used to determine the salaries of ministers.
This is done by first tracking the top eight earners in each of six professions. Their salaries are arranged from No 1 to 48. The benchmark is pegged at two-thirds the salary of the median — the 24th earner.
Using the data from private sector incomes in 2005, Earner No 24 took home $3.29 million, so the 2006 benchmark for minister salaries would be 66.6 per cent of that — or about $2.2 million. Historically, ministers have been paid less than the benchmark.
Today, senior Permanent Secretaries and ministers in this grade are paid $1.2 million a year, or 55 per cent of the benchmark. Back in 2000, they were earning 71 per cent of the benchmark.
In a statement by the Public Service Division (PSD), it said these six professions were picked because they are "alternative professions" that the Government's top calibre senior civil servants could have otherwise joined.
On top of their main jobs, senior civil servants hold concurrent appointments such as chairmen of statutory boards or government-linked companies.
More reasons to increase their salaries.
"We recognise that the nature of work in the public and private sectors are different and there is some personal sacrifice involved in public service," said the statement.
I can think of any. Maybe you don’t have the fun in taking the public transport to work?
The job security of ministers was also highlighted by the PSD.
"Ministers are not in guaranteed long-term jobs — they face the General Elections every five years. Similarly, our top civil servants are put on fixed term appointments once they are appointed to a top position," it said.
Another main salary benchmark is the "SR9" — the lowest Superscale grade at which officers in their early- to mid-30s enter the senior ranks of the Administrative Service.
This benchmark dipped between 2001 and 2004 because of the Sept 11 terrorist attacks and Sars in 2003, but has since climbed to $361,000 — just below the $363,000 benchmark set in 2000. Last year, an entry-level Superscale officer was paid a salary amounting to 103 per cent of the benchmark — or $371,830 a year.
Explaining that these numbers were based on incomes earned two years ago, Mr Lee said the private sector salaries "have most probably risen further" since then.
Most probably? I am sure the gahment know exactly what is going on in the public sectors.
Describing the talent squeeze as an urgent problem, he spoke of how the civil service needs to provide challenging assignments for its staff.
Singaporeans are in demand not just here but the world over. Mr Lee gave the example of a Middle Eastern country that dropped feelers about buying the whole of JTC!
And hinting that money is not the route to all solutions, he said the civil service leadership must excite and enthuse its staff to see that they are helping to make a difference to Singapore's policy-making.
If not then why the high salaries?
In the early 1990s, the Administrative Service lost "entire cohorts of good officers", and having taken many years to recover from the loss, the Prime Minister said it "must not happen again" in future.
The resignation rate in the public sector rose to 5.7 per cent last year, up from 4.8 per cent in 2005.
How many of these people resigned due to low pays? Or could there be other reason that they resigned? Like too many red tapes in our public services? Lack of empowerment, job satisfaction? I think the gahment should seriously look into it. Increasing pay in not the only way to stop people from quitting the public services.
"Besides civil service salaries, we are also reviewing salaries for the political, judicial and statutory appointment holders. It is even more critical to keep these salaries competitive ... to bring in a continuing flow of able and successful people to be ministers and judges," said Mr Lee.
In this latest review, the new salary structure is expected to tie salaries more closely to performance, in line with private sector practice.
In his speech, Mr Lee also outlined another pertinent problem — that of encouraging Singaporeans to venture overseas, while at the same time ensuring that there is enough talent in Singapore to grow the economy.
He said: "How will Singapore businesses recruit talent and grow into first-class companies? How will we create the jobs and opportunities for the less successful Singaporeans, who cannot seek their fortunes in China, India or the US? How will the Public Service maintain a first-class team that can lead Singapore into the future?"
Looking ahead, Mr Lee challenged the Public Service to benchmark itself to top global companies, such as Google.
"Google receives 1,300 resumes a day. The Public Service must strive to have that same cachet. The whole tone of the organisation must exude confidence, energy and purpose," he said.