Singapore's civil servants are set to receive a year-end Annual Variable Component (AVC), or bonus, of one month this year, the Public Service Division (PSD) announced on Friday (23 November).

Lower-wage civil servants will get a minimum year-end AVC of S$1,800 in line with the Government’s continued commitment to help lower-wage workers. Around 1,380 lower-wage civil servants will benefit from the minimum AVC.

According to the PSD, the AVC amount was decided following consultation with public sector unions and based on the Ministry of Trade and Industry's (MTI) forecast on Singapore's economic growth.

The MTI has forecasted that the nation's economy will grow by 3% to 3.5% in 2018. Further, the labour market continued to improve in the first half of the year and total employment grew, while more job vacancies were open and retrenchments declined.

Yeo Chun Fing, general secretary, Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE) said: "The agreement between the Public Service unions and the Public Service Division to award a one month year-end AVC, making a total of 1.5 months for the whole year, is reasonable given the steady performance of the economy which was anchored on the good growth in the first two quarters and the expected growth for the whole of 2018. Our union members would be quite satisfied with this payout."

At the same time, Cham Hui Fong, assistant secretary-general, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) called this a "fair" move by the Government, and said that it is important for companies to speed up technology adoption and encourage workers to reskill and upskill in order to improve the value of jobs for Singapore's workers.

She added: "NTUC will continue to work closely with the PSD to upgrade and upskill our lower grade civil servants and at the same time, work in tandem with the Government to transform industries and raise workers' productivity."

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