Friday, 8 August 2014

Home Team officers get pay raises of up to 12%

By Alfred Chua, TODAY, 7 Aug 2014

All uniformed officers in the Home Team have been given pay increases of up to 12 per cent, while hefty sign-on bonuses were announced for new police recruits, in the latest periodic compensation review by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to woo and keep talent.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean announced this piece of “good news” to officers during the Home Team National Day Observance Ceremony yesterday, as he thanked them for their work in keeping the Republic safe and secure.

“The MHA will ensure that the Home Team provides rewarding and meaningful careers, with opportunities for professional and personal development, and competitive salaries which keep pace with the market and are commensurate with the skills and demands required of our officers in the Home Team,” he said.

The long standing issue of a manpower crunch in the Home Team — specifically, in the Singapore Police Force (SPF) — culminated in the Commissioner of Police flagging the need for 1,000 more officers to boost its ranks earlier this year, during the Committee of Inquiry hearing into the Little India riot. Commissioner Ng Joo Hee noted that, compared with other cities such as Hong Kong and London, Singapore’s officer-to-resident ratio was much lower, and has been worsening.

In 1994, there were 222 officers for every 100,000 residents. That number has fallen to 163 this year. As of last December, the SPF comprised 8,784 regular officers and 3,688 full-time Police National Servicemen.

“The truth is that the SPF has not grown significantly in size, while Singapore’s population has grown by two million in the space of two decades,” Commissioner Ng had said.

Under the pay revision, officers from the Singapore Police Force — along with those from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Singapore Prison Service (SPS) and Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) — will get the biggest raise, of between 10 and 12 per cent in monthly pay. Those from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will see their pay jump by 7 per cent, while a 5 per cent increase has been given to officers in the Home Team Specialist Scheme.

The last time starting salaries for junior officers was adjusted was in February 2012. Currently, SPF regular officers have a starting pay ranging from S$1,920 to S$2,090, depending on their entry-level rank.

To attract more into its fold “to meet the growing demand for police officers”, sign-on bonuses of S$10,000 have been introduced for those who join at the rank of Corporal.

Previously, only those entering as Sergeants, among junior officers, get a sign-on bonus of S$10,000. This has been increased to S$30,000. The Police Sergeants will be bonded for three years, while Corporals will be bonded for two years. Recruits who join the SCDF, SPS and CNB at the rank of Sergeant will receive a sign-on bonus of S$10,000, while those entering the ICA as Sergeants will get a sign-on bonus of S$8,000.

At the ceremony yesterday, Mr Teo also paid tribute to the officers who served in the “difficult” early years leading up to, and after, Singapore’s independence. “Our Home Team Pioneers tackled serious security challenges — secret societies, a penal riot, armed robberies, communist-inspired student and industrial unrest, racial riots, drugs, and serious outbreaks of fires. They showed courage, hard work and determination, and contributed towards the peace and security, social harmony and unity which have made us a stronger and more resilient nation,” he said, adding that a series of activities will be organised next year to thank and honour them.















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