Security agency being dealt with for trying to reset officers’ wages by demoting them
A security agency is being dealt with by the Union of Security Employees (USE) for attempting to reset the wages of some 300 officers through forced demotions.
The agency, which hires over 1,000 officers, carried out the demotions as it no longer had the contracts to keep these officers at their current job ranks, said labour chief Ng Chee Meng on Tuesday, without naming the agency.
Under the Progressive Wage Model for the outsourced private security sector, security officers’ monthly basic wages before overtime start from $1,650, up from $1,100 in 2016.
From 2024, there will be a marked shift in officers’ wages under the model. They will receive a gross monthly wage instead of basic wage plus overtime. This is because their wages will exceed the $2,600 cap, and as such, under the Employment Act, they will no longer qualify for overtime wages.
Giving more details on the errant security agency, Mr Ng said the USE immediately engaged with the company after being informed of its practices by some of its union members in late 2022.
“After the union’s intervention, the agency agreed not to demote these officers, but instead, extended their working hours. This is yet again, another attempt to reset the employment terms of these officers,” said Mr Ng.
The USE then took the agency to the Manpower Ministry for conciliation. The agency agreed to the union and ministry’s request to conduct joint engagements with affected workers to establish remedial actions.
No further details were available as the case is undergoing conciliation.
“NTUC (National Trades Union Congress) and USE are keeping a close watch on this case and will not hesitate to take the agency to task should there be further non-compliance,” said Mr Ng.
He reminded companies to refer to the Tripartite Guidelines on Managing Excess Manpower and consult the union before taking actions that impact workers.
Mr Ng added that NTUC and its affiliated unions will ensure that workers reap the benefits intended under the Progressive Wage Model.
“We will ensure that their employers and service buyers alike honour their legal and social obligations to our workers.”