FROM next month, the monthly pay of about 2,200 lower-wage civil servants, such as operations support officers in schools, will go up by $60 to $80.

It will keep their wages competitive, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said, adding that the move is in line with similar increases they received recently.

These Division IV officers - who were typically earning between $1,270 and $1,535 a month last June - had their basic pay raised by $60 to $70 each year in the past three years.

This follows the recommendations of the National Wages Council, noted Mr Teo, who is the minister-in-charge of the civil service.

Taken together with the regular salary adjustments made by the civil service, these lower- wage earners had received pay rises of about $300 to $330 from 2012 to last year.

This amounts to a 25 per cent increase in their monthly wages, over and above their annual increments, he added during yesterday's debate on the new budget for the Prime Minister's Office.

Mr Teo was replying to Mr Ang Hin Kee (Ang Mo Kio GRC), who had asked for an update on what was being done to improve the lot of lower-wage civil servants.

These officers are also offered more training opportunities.

For example, they are given cash under a Training Incentive Scheme to encourage them to upgrade their skills.

And starting from next month, their salary scales will be extended.

This means officers who have hit the ceiling in the existing salary scales can receive further pay increments when they upgrade themselves.

"We remain committed to improving the jobs and skills of our lower-wage civil servants," Mr Teo said, adding that the public service will continue to work closely with unions and make salary adjustments where necessary.

The Amalgamated Union of Public Employees yesterday cheered Mr Teo's announcements on the pay rise for lower-wage officers.

Said its general secretary Yeo Chun Fing: "The salaries of these civil servants are very low, so the built-in wage increases are quite significant for them.

"Every year, it enlarges their pay packet. They can then meet the rising cost of living."