Breaking news: SMRT drivers see salary review

 

Breaking News: SMRT bus drivers would have their salaries reviewed and raised by up to $400. Pieces of news is still raw as of now as this news is still in it’s infancy. We have had spoken with a few drivers from SMRT and we understand that a salary package review championed by NTWU, together with SMRT has come full-circle and they will soon be able to finally close the loop.

Several months ago, we ran a story on how NTWU has fought for higher pay package.

Here is a timeline of it’s progress:

 

–            Not known to many, SBS has since time memorial operated on a 6-day week.  SMRT bus used to be TIBS, which operated on 6 day week.  After it was bought over by SMRT, it went 5-day week in 2006.  Now, it is reverting back to 6 day week.  Most of the existing bus drivers in SMRT actually all used to work 6-day week, until 2006.

 

–            In an effort to be competitive, several years ago in 2006, SMRT introduced a 5 day work week to attract drivers. (FYI, SBS remained a 6-day week)

 

–            Earlier this year, unionists at NTWU fought for a $250 wage increase. An agreement followed suit.  This is agreed to collectively by union representatives.

 

–       This was a 6-month pilot.  Because the agreement included an option, to be exercised within 6 months, for drivers to go back to 5-day week.  Once an option was on the table for drivers to exercise, the company would have to review the package at some point, otherwise large numbers may go back to 5-day, creating large operational problems for the company.

 

–            Now there is a new deal.  Hints point to a new CEO: someone who has no baggage of previous operations and free to turn things around. However, this may not have been such a simple matter and it allows us opportunity to probe around for a rare glimpse into the delicate negotiations of how a union operates: how did the NTUC lobby? Who were the key players in NTWU/NTUC and what was the breaking point?

 

We would be looking at how this matter develops as the day unfolds. Stay tuned as we present further facts.

 

About the author

Benjamin Chiang

Benjamin Chiang is an enthusiast of good advertising, deep thinking, labour issues and chocolate. He writes also at www.rangosteen.com and occasionally on Yahoo!

The views expressed are his own.

View all posts

Share your thoughts!