Tray return ambassador job ad offering $2,500 salary gets flak on Reddit

PHOTO: Screengrab from Facebook/National Environment Agency (NEA) and MyCareersFuture Singapore

Why is it so high? That's the question being asked in a Reddit thread on the salary of a tray return ambassador in hawker centres.

On June 30, Reddit user HelloWorld0921 shared a screenshot of a job opening that offered between $2,000 and $2,500 for the contract position on the MyCareersFuture Singapore website.

The main responsibilities of a tray return ambassador include "improving adoption rate of tray return habit by patrons" and "ensuring patrons and stallholders observe safe-distancing measures", according to People Advantage Pte Ltd, the company that posted the ad.

Although the job ad was posted on June 2 last year, it came under the limelight this week after the Reddit thread went viral.

It did not sit well with many, as they argued on the basis of how much hawker centre cleaners are paid today.

Under the progressive wage model (PWM), the base pay of general cleaners is currently $1,236 a month.

Screengrab from Reddit

Others poked fun at the job requirements, with one noting that while it was quite exhaustive, the ad still missed out on an important component — experience in a relevant field.

Screengrab from Reddit

Given that this job opening was posted just over a year ago, what about now?

The same position now offers a salary between $1,400 and $2,200. However, the company that posted the ad is Greensafe International.

Interestingly, the job description and list of requirements are simpler and shorter than the ad posted last year.

The National Environment Agency recently announced that diners must return trays and clear tables at hawker centres from June 1, prompting much discussion in Singapore.

With dining-in allowed on June 21, some diners told The Straits Times that they felt that the new regulation was heavy-handed. 

Meanwhile, a cleaner said: "Sometimes, diners still tell us that as long as we are cleaners, it is our job to clear the tables for them."

Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment Amy Khor explained that the rule was important as there are considerable risks in public dining places, especially in light of the Covid-19 cluster in Bukit Merah View.

Enforcement begins on Sept 1. First-time offenders who do not clean up after themselves at hawker centres will face a written warning, and subsequent offenders may face fines that start from $300.

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