Healthcare Cluster Tripartite Workgroup to Boost Career and Wage Progression for Healthcare Support Staff

1             The tripartite partners in the healthcare sector - the Ministry of Health (MOH), the six Public Healthcare Clusters[1] and the NTUC’s Healthcare Cluster of Unions[2] - have come together for the first time to form a dedicated workgroup to further enhance productivity in the sector. The Healthcare Cluster Tripartite Workgroup is chaired by MOH and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).

2             Through training, job redesign initiatives and investment in technology and assistive technologies, it is envisioned that the employability and salaries of lower-wage public healthcare support staff will be enhanced.

Promoting Productivity

3             In March this year, the Labour Movement regrouped its 61 unions into 12 key industry clusters. This move was aimed at helping workers boost their productivity levels - and ultimately raise wages progressively. The Healthcare Cluster is one of these 12 clusters.

4             There has been significant progress in raising productivity in the public healthcare sector over the years. Going forward, even more can be achieved by facilitating sharing and diffusion of productivity initiatives and best practices across the healthcare clusters, for improved outcomes on an even wider scale. In this regard, the Workgroup aims to:

i.           Coordinate productivity initiatives across the public healthcare sector;

ii.          Facilitate sharing and diffusion of best practices and initiatives to raise productivity across the clusters;

iii.         Enhance the skills, job value, employability, and salaries of lower-wage public healthcare support staff; and

iv.         Oversee publicity efforts for public healthcare productivity initiatives.

5             In conjunction with the launch of the Workgroup, the clusters showcased various initiatives which have increased productivity through job redesign, workflow improvements, and the use of technology and assistive devices. A brief overview of some of the exhibits can be found at Annex A.

Promoting Sustainable Wage Increases

Pay Increase for Public Healthcare Administrative, Ancillary and Support Staff

6             Public healthcare administrative, ancillary and support staff partner healthcare professionals in the delivery of healthcare services, and play a key role in driving productivity improvements. It is important for our public healthcare institutions to share part of the productivity gains with the staff who have contributed to deriving them, to sustain employee involvement and good labour relations. At the same time rising demand for public healthcare services means that the work of these staff has become more demanding and complex. To this end, it is important to ensure that the public sector continues to attract, motivate and retain high performing staff.

7             After a review of healthcare staff salaries by MOH and the healthcare clusters, the 16,000 public healthcare administrative, ancillary and support staff will see an increase of between 4 and 10% in their base pay from this month.

Progressive Wage Model

8             Besides the salary increase, a Progressive Wage Model has been developed to help lower wage workers attain sustainable wage increases through productivity, training and job redesign initiatives. It involves creating a wage ladder and continuously setting wage milestones up the ladder for workers in different jobs and industries. It is built on top of a base of Workfare schemes, wage recommendations from the National Wages Council, and social transfer programmes.

9             While all workers earning a monthly salary of up to $1,700 will be included in the initiatives of the Workgroup, the effort will commence with projects relating to three key groups - Health Attendants (HA), Healthcare Assistants (HCA) and Patient Service Associates (PSA) – who collectively make up more than half of those in the target income group. The Tripartite Workgroup aims to help at least 2,000 of these workers move up the wage ladder progressively, such that they can enjoy a base wage increase of between 10 and 20% from 2012 to end 2014. An illustration of the Progressive Wage Model for the healthcare sector can be found in Annex B, with details of the progression pathway for each of the three target groups in Annex C.



14 SEPTEMBER 2012         



[1] The six Public Healthcare Clusters are Alexandra Health, Eastern Health Alliance, Jurong Health Services, National Healthcare Group, National University Hospital and SingHealth Services.

[2] The NTUC’s Healthcare Cluster of Unions comprises the Healthcare Services Employees’ Union (HSEU), the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE), the Amalgamated Union of Statutory Board Employees, and the Singapore Manual & Mercantile Workers’ Union.

Annex - Launch of Healthcare Cluster Tripartite Workgroup Press Release


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