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New mediation mechanism an extra option for executives

  • The Straits Times (29 October 2010) : New mediation mechanism an extra option for executives
  • The Straits Times (25 October 2010) : Offer mediation option to more executives

New mediation mechanism an extra option for executives 
- The Straits Times, 29 October 2010

We thank Mr Gilbert Goh for his feedback (25 Oct, 2010) and would like to clarify some points he raised. The tripartite partners are putting in place additional mediation options for employers and employees with the proposed mediation process for professionals, managers and executives (PMEs).

2.   Our strong tripartism has helped us to prevent and resolve employment disputes amicably. The new tripartite employment dispute mechanism leverages on the experience and expertise of the established tripartite framework to help PMEs and their employers to resolve their disputes without the costly and protracted route of civil litigation. Among the 500,000 PMEs, both those who are already individual members and those who choose to join registered trade unions in future will have access to the new mechanism. PMEs who are non-union members will continue to have access to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM)’s existing Executive Mediation Unit for mediation services to help them resolve their employment disputes.

3.   We are confident that with tripartite involvement, we can help more PMEs resolve their employment disputes expeditiously through the new mechanism.

Offer mediation option to more executives
- The Straits Times, 25 October 2010

It was heartening to learn that the Government is setting up a mediation system to handle conflicts between employers and executive workers ('New mediation scheme for white-collar workers; last Wednesday).

However, to qualify for the current mediation channel, these executives need to work in a company that has no union and be individual members of allied unions, which cannot represent them for collective bargaining.

These preconditions limit the number of executives with access to mediation to 46,000, according to estimates.

The report mentioned that there are 500,000 professionals, managers and executives (PMEs) making up to $4,500 a month here. This means there is still quite a number of professional executives who will not get mediation assistance when they encounter conflicts at work.

The reason given for the preconditions is to allow the tripartite movement - linking employers, workers and the Government - to lend its expertise in conflict resolution.

No figures were, however, given on the total number of cases that the tripartite movement has handled all along and its success rate.

I hope this conflict resolution channel will be extended to the rest of the executives who are currently excluded.