Singapore’s new London-based public bus operator today (May 16) announced a 3.5% increase in salaries to match the increase in cost of living in Singapore. According to Managing Director Andrew Bujtor, the wage increase is separated from performance increase and will help the company attract and retain existing drivers.
“The increment is based on national wage data and will mean that Tower Transit’s wages keep pace with the cost of living in Singapore. We believe this fits in nicely with the SkillsFuture Sectoral Manpower Plan for the public bus industry to attract and retain bus captains. This is done by keeping the increments separate from performance incentives.”
This is the largest wage increase for Singapore public bus drivers as compared to the time when there were only two bus operators, SBS and SMRT. Both companies were in a duopoly controlled by Temasek Holdings, and used to exploit Singaporean drivers by depressing their wages and making them work long hours. There is no union to represent employees in Singapore.
Unlike SBS and SMRT who faces serious manpower shortage and relied heavily on foreign workers, Tower Transit hire mostly Singaporeans with at least 75% being Singapore residents out of its more than 700 headcounts. The UK company also currently pay the highest starting salaries at S$1,930 as compared to the two former state-owned companies.