Lower-Wage Workers from More Sectors are Now Benefiting from the Progressive Wage Model

Lower-wage workers in five sectors now have sustainable wage increases due to improved skills and productivity.
12 Jan 2023

The Progressive Wage Model (PWM) has come a long way to help our lower-wage workers achieve better wages, welfare and work prospects.

This was done by developing clear career progression pathways and enhancing their wages, skills, and productivity.

The model focuses on sustainable wage increases through skills and productivity enhancements.

With regularly updated PWM training requirements to enhance skills and competencies, our workers are now more productive and efficient in carrying out their tasks.

Since it was mooted by NTUC in 2012, the PWM has been implemented in the cleaning, security, landscape, lift and escalator, and retail sectors. It has also been extended to in-house workers in the cleaning, landscape, and security industries.

According to the NTUC U Care Centre, the PWM has uplifted the lives of over 130,000 resident workers in Singapore to date.

Cleaning PWM

PWM for the cleaning sector was the first introduced in 2012 to help cleaners earn progressively higher wages through skills upgrading, structured career advancement, and productivity improvements. It was implemented in 2014.

Under the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners’ recommendations, general cleaners’ wages increased from around $1,000 in 2012 to $1,312 in 2022.

They have also been receiving an annual PWM Bonus of at least two weeks’ pay since 2020.

With the cluster’s latest recommendations in 2021, general cleaners can expect a wage increase to $2,420 by 2028. The wage schedule will be reviewed in 2025.

NTUC revealed that around 40,000 workers have benefited from this sector’s PWM.

Security PWM

The security sector’s PWM was launched in 2014 to create a roadmap for raising basic wages, skills and productivity. It included an approach for reducing the industry’s reliance on excessive overtime hours to meet manpower needs.

The PWM took effect in 2016.

Based on the Security Tripartite Cluster’s recommendations, security officers will see their pay increase to $1,650 this year, up from around $1,100 in 2016.

NTUC shared that around 40,000 workers have benefited from the Security PWM.

Landscape PWM

The Landscape PWM was initiated in 2015 to give landscape workers a clearer career progression pathway and enable them to earn higher wages in tandem with better skills, standards and productivity. It became mandatory in 2016.

Under the Tripartite Cluster for Landscape Industry’s recommendations, landscape workers experienced a wage growth from around $1,300 in 2016 to $1,650 in 2022.

Landscape workers have also been receiving an annual PWM Bonus of minimum two weeks’ salary since 2020.

The cluster introduced a dual-track career ladder in its 2021 recommendations that will take effect in 2023. It also recommended a pay increase to $2,385 by 2028.

NTUC shared that around 3,000 workers have benefited from this sector’s PWM.

Lift & Escalator PWM

The PWM for the lift and escalator sector was introduced in 2018 to attract Singapore residents to join the industry and provide better remuneration to enhance their retention.

Additional goals included upskilling the workforce to deliver better quality maintenance services and pushing for wider adoption of technology to reduce manpower reliance.

It was made mandatory in 2022.

With the Tripartite Cluster for Lift and Escalator Industry’s recommendations, assistant lift specialists’ salaries grew from around $1,300 in 2018 to $1,850 in 2022.

From January 2023, the workers will also be receiving a mandatory annual PWM Bonus of at least one month’s pay.

The cluster extended the PWM from lift technicians to cover escalator technicians in its 2021 recommendations.

Recommendations also included a wage increase to $3,080 by 2028. The wage schedule will be reviewed in 2025.

NTUC U Care Centre said that around 1,300 lift and escalator workers have been impacted by the PWM.

Retail PWM

The Retail PWM was launched and implemented in the same year ― 2022.

The aim is to develop a clear career progression pathway for retail workers, equip them with the necessary skills and drive productivity to commensurate with sustainable wage increases.

The Tripartite Cluster for Retail Industry’s recommendations will see retail assistant and cashiers’ salaries rise from $1,850 in 2022 to $2,175 in 2024.

NTUC also disclosed that around 46,000 workers are already benefiting from the retail PWM.

What’s Next?

The waste management PWM will come into effect in July 2023.

It was launched in 2022 to provide a clear career progression pathway for waste management workers to earn better wages as they improve their skills and productivity.

The Tripartite Cluster for Waste Management Industry’s recommendation will increase waste collection crew’s salaries from $2,210 in 2023 to $3,260 in 2028.

Come January 2024, the workers will also receive a mandatory annual PWM Bonus of at least one month’s pay.

NTUC will also be launching the food services PWM this year, with more details to be announced later.