Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on charging unions for use of office space

08 July 2019

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on charging unions for use of office space

Parliamentary Sitting: 8 July 2019

Mr Zainal Sapari: To ask the Prime Minister whether house unions in the various Ministries and statutory boards can be regarded as part of the organisational structure and hence be allowed to occupy office space within the building premises without being charged market rental.

Written Reply by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade & Industry and Minister-in-charge of the Public Service.

House unions are valued partners of public sector agencies, but are not part of the organisational structure.  They are separate entities regulated by the Trade Unions Act and other legislation administered by the Registry of Trade Unions. 

In general, public sector agencies allow their union branch leaders to use their non-exclusive office facilities, such as meeting rooms, without any charges. They are accorded the same treatment as any other employees who need to use the office facilities. However, in instances where the unions have requested for dedicated office space for their exclusive use, they would be charged market rental rates. This is in line with the Ministry of Finance’s policy that all government premises should be rented at market rates.