Wednesday 17 October 2012

SMRT bus drivers to get pay rise

Channel NewsAsia, 15 Oct 2012

Public transport operator SMRT said on Monday that it will be raising the basic salaries of all Singaporean, permanent resident (PR) and non-Singaporean bus drivers.

With the Enhanced Service Leader Salary Package, the total salary adjustments will be as high as S$400 for Singaporeans and S$175 for PRs and non-Singaporeans.

These figures include the increments of between $75 and $250 that SMRT gave its bus drivers in July, when it adjusted the work week of its drivers to raise service standards.

The starting pay of a Singaporean driver is now S$1,625, and gross monthly pay range between S$2,400 and S$2,900.

The new salary changes will be backdated to July 2012, when SMRT adjusted the work week of its drivers from five to six days to provide for the manpower required to meet the increase in demand for bus drivers.

SMRT explained that these adjustments were necessary to ensure a more sustainable workload for its drivers and that safe and quality bus transport services continue to be delivered to commuters.

It also monitored their work patterns and salaries.

At a meeting with drivers and union members on Monday afternoon, SMRT President and CEO Desmond Kuek announced the salary changes, saying the transport operator is committed to looking after the morale and well-being of its drivers.

He thanked the union for their feedback and for their strong support of the complete set of measures.

"They work hard on the roads each day to ensure commuter safety and a high customer service quality. SMRT will continue to ensure that our remuneration package remains competitive, and rewards good performance and loyalty," he said.

He added that SMRT is gearing up its people and fleet to better serve the needs of commuters and meet the increase in demand for more and better bus services.

42-year-old chief service leader Ragunathan Gurusamy is pleased with the pay rise.

"I'm very happy with the enhanced package, which means a higher income for me and my family, and that the company (has been) looking after me all these years," he said.

SMRT's move comes on the back of SBS Transit increasing the basic monthly pay of new Singaporean drivers in May.

SBS increased new drivers' salaries by 16 per cent - to S$1,600 - in a bid to attract new drivers.

Existing Singaporean drivers also received a pay rise of S$225, while non-Singaporean SBS drivers received smaller pay increments.


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