December 2, 2022

NTUC Secretary-Basic Ng Chee Meng addressed the media yesterday (August 11) in a closed-door interactive session with union leaders to share the launch of #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations, a year-long sequence of engagements the place NTUC will have interaction staff from totally different walks of life to grasp their wants and considerations.

This can assist NTUC higher determine the way it can co-create the way forward for work and strengthen the employees compact, consistent with the labour union’s long-term plan to deal with the uncertainties going through Singapore and the workforce.

We’ve accomplished many issues during the last two years, however we is not going to relaxation on our laurels. We’ll take a deeper dive to see how we are able to champion the pursuits of our working individuals. This implies all collars — white collar, blue collar — [and regardless if] you’re an worker, freelancer, youthful or older, males or ladies.

– NTUC Secretary-Basic Ng Chee Meng

Ng acknowledges that Singapore will proceed to be examined, particularly with the advances in know-how and the financial world that can proceed to evolve post-Covid.

On the identical time, he additionally recognises the potential of job polarisation, which might doubtlessly widen revenue inequalities if lively measures aren’t taken to champion the pursuits of the working individuals.

How will #EveryWorkerMatters conversations assist the workforce?

NTUC’s official banner for #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations / Picture Credit score: Vulcan Publish

In accordance with Ng, NTUC’s goal is to additional determine with the anxieties and wishes of the workforce.

A latest survey it carried out with roughly 1,000 staff noticed an increase in considerations: lack of profession development, lack of bargaining energy to barter for higher employment phrases, and an total lack of work-life steadiness in Singapore.

Singaporean staff need Singapore to stay meritocratic, open, and have responsive measures towards new challenges. #EveryWorkerMatters Conversations search to interact with them, perceive their challenges, and hopefully in time to return, work with employers and the federal government to place in proposals and concrete measures to forge a brand new staff compact.

– NTUC Secretary-Basic Ng Chee Meng

In flip, this train additionally goals to interact with employers, authorities policymakers and associate organisations, because it listens to the views and aspirations for the social compact round work, together with the trade-offs and sacrifices every should make.

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Via the conversations, engagements, and workshops, NTUC hopes its autonomous, impartial efforts permits them to have a voice to plug into the larger-planned social compact, therefore additional enabling them to characterize staff’ pursuits in a clearer and extra correct method.

A 3-phase train to “allow, guarantee, and defend” staff

The primary section of #EveryWorkerMatters takes a divergent strategy, and can run from now till end-2022. Throughout this era, NTUC will have interaction the general public to listen to their views on the compact with staff.

“We’ll hear from many staff in our personal networks, going all the best way right down to the voting grassroots. This can give us a first-hand understanding of a few of the points confronted that will not be mentioned so brazenly,” mentioned Ng.

He provides that totally different staff have totally different considerations. For example, there are ladies within the workforce who want versatile working preparations as caregivers. There are additionally different segments of staff — these with aged dad and mom and younger youngsters, senior staff, younger staff, in addition to the PMEs — that face different host of points that NTUC might need but to listen to of.

In its second section beginning in 2023, the train will transfer in direction of a convergent strategy. NTUC goals to organise a sequence of coverage workshops with tripartite companions, Institutes of Larger Studying (IHLs), civic society organisations, Human Useful resource practitioners, and different associate organisations. 

That is to crystallise suggestions and concrete recommendations on how the employee’s compact may be strengthened. Ng recognises that this stage brings a couple of tough dialog with employer companions worrying about productiveness, and alternatively, staff’ having reputable considerations about being burnt out from the totally different duties they’ve.

We now have to usher in the employers and authorities to see what we are able to do collectively to reply the problems within the compact staff contract, and in the end, ship first-hand suggestions to the federal government on what these essential constituents wish to see in the way forward for Singapore.

– NTUC Secretary-Basic Ng Chee Meng

Lastly, NTUC’s third section for the train will embody taking a look at surfacing findings from earlier phases and releasing its suggestions by mid-2023. This entails working with 4G leaders and authorities policymakers by way of Ahead Singapore.

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Altering instances imply altering the best way work works

Though upscaling and rescaling by way of concrete mental concepts has been in NTUC’s repertoire for a very long time, Ng clarifies that it’s essential not solely to replace insurance policies, however replace the best way they’re applied.

The union paradigm was fashioned within the 1800s. In a brand new world the place labour is extra cellular, in case you actually wish to reply to the wants of those segments of the workforce, can we nonetheless use a paradigm that could be a hundred years previous and apply it to a platform area at the moment?

– NTUC Secretary-Basic Ng Chee Meng

Ng additionally emphasised how NTUC is just not taking a look at a singular methodology of reaching out to the workforce. 

“So long as the tactic is relevant, we’re prepared to go together with it. If we are able to have interaction the youth through TikTok, we’ll attempt. Whether or not it’s focus teams, a Saturday morning workforce constructing with younger SME bosses along with union leaders, or bringing in older staff for an off-the-cuff chat.”

NTUC’s goal is to succeed in 20,000 people throughout numerous backgrounds within the workforce. Nevertheless, Ng reiterated that he’s not too involved concerning the quantity, so long as it’s a stable illustration of the workforce and its wants.

Over the previous two years, it kickstarted the initiative by partaking staff throughout totally different sectors. Shifting ahead in section one, it’s trying to zoom in on different exploration challenges it could face.

By altering the paradigm of what it means to characterize staff, Ng hopes that NTUC can carry an overarching effort and transfer ahead because the champion voice of the working class in Singapore.

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Featured Picture Credit score: Vulcan Publish / CNBC