Civil Servants In The Independent School Will Have To Pay For Parking

By now, the whole MOE-parking-fee fiasco has made its rounds around Singapore.

Essentially, all teachers will subject to a monthly fee deducted from their salary if they incur parking fees, come 1 Aug this year.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, public sentiment has been mostly negative.

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There is a counter-argument; that non-driving faculty members did not “enjoy” free parking before the parking fee was installed.

For teachers in Hwa Chong Institution, though, the matter gets slightly more complicated.

A private affair

Although the move was intended to curb spending in the public sector, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has included Independent and Government-aided schools in the new initiative.

In the name of “consistency and parity within and across schools”, of course.

One such independent school is Hwa Chong Institution (HCI).

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And their sister school, Hwa Chong International School (HCIS), similarly acronym-ed.

As a school that owns the land on which it stands on, HCI (and their parent company Singapore Chinese High School) includes both civil servants and private hires within their ranks.

This has led to some confusion among staff, who feel that to subject privately-hired teachers to the same policy would be “unfair”.

To settle the matter, a meeting between MOE and the Singapore Chinese High School will take place next Wednesday (18 Apr).

But let’s live in the present.

TODAY spoke with several teachers from HCI and HCIS, who put forth recommendations for the easing of worries and tensions.

Every feedback is a good feedback

A teacher in his 40s who drives to work said that the new policy has created confusion among the staff at HCI.

He thinks that civil servants should pay the parking fees, but for exemptions to be given to those who are privately hired.

It’s not stated whether he is privately employed by the institution.

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Another teacher who drives proposed to erect a gantry that will distinguish between civil servants and privately hired teachers, based on their school passes.

He does not elaborate exactly how the gantry will be able to differentiate between the two.

Perhaps HCI will have to hire a guard to man the gantry.

Question is — will the new recruit be a civil servant or a private hire?

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Wanted: A workable solution

Unfortunately, it is far too easy for one to poke holes in the suggested solutions.

If implemented, regular teachers who are considered civil servants will have to pay parking fees and may risk feeling marginalised in favour of private hires who get more benefits than they do.

And someone’s going to have to bear the cost of the gantry. Again, are the civil servants to be arrow-ed again?

Let’s hope that the dialogue next week provides a workable solution.

Featured image from Santa Grand Hotels.