Mr Bernard Chew, Business Partnership and HR Policy

Mr Bernard Chew

What has kept Mr Bernard Chew motivated to work in the Public Service for the past 42 years?

“It’s all of you!” said Bernard, beaming, referring to the officers in the Public Service.

As one of the pioneering officers with the Public Service Division (PSD) when it was formed in 1983, Bernard is the go-to person when colleagues and stakeholders have questions on labour-management relations in the Public Service.

As the Deputy Director of PSD’s Business Partnership and HR Policy clusters, Bernard works to develop HR policies related to salaries and employment benefits. “I find the work in PSD very rewarding because I get to help fellow officers while taking into account organisational interests,” he explained. “It’s deeply satisfying to know that I can make a difference for them!”

Bernard was instrumental in organising the inaugural Public Sector Union Management Gathering in 1997, an event that set the stage for open discussions of HR issues between PSD and the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees.

“We started working more closely with the union, engaging and consulting with representatives on issues affecting our officers,” recalled Bernard. “Now, we also collaborate with the union on joint projects to improve the service conditions for them.”

In working to strengthen labour-management ties, Bernard also encourages his team to actively engage stakeholders and unions to produce a win-win outcome when formulating or reviewing policies.

So it was fitting that during the 2016 May Day Awards ceremony, Bernard was conferred the Medal of Commendation in recognition of his contributions in building partnerships between the public sector and unions. PSD Deputy Secretary (Policy) James Wong and PSD Permanent Secretary Yong Ying-I received the award in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

This year’s award was all the more meaningful to Bernard for being PSD’s third consecutive one. “It’s a rare achievement for officers in PSD to receive the Medal of Commendation for three years, and I’m honoured to have received it,” explained Bernard. “I’m thankful for the endorsement, and also for the support of my colleagues.”

To Ms Gina Lee, who had been working with Bernard since 2000, he’s a trusted colleague who can be depended on for sound advice in matters big and small. “Bernard never fails to remind us to engage our stakeholders before we 'cook' our policies. He convinces us not with his seniority, but with his experience and wisdom,” she said.

Reflecting on his over four decades of service, Bernard had this advice to share with fellow public officers: “I’d urge colleagues to enjoy our work. If we put our hearts and minds into what we do, we can make a difference. Together, we can build a first-class Public Service!”