On Monday (Aug 13), The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) announced plans to form a new association to support freelancers who teach sports, music, fitness, dance and wellness in schools and communities.
Named as the National Instructors and Coaches Association (NICA), the organisation makes up about 5,000 full-time freelance instructors and coaches, including those who train at Sport Singapore and People’s Association, and co-curricular activities at schools around the country.
Regarding the plan, NTUC assistant director-general and director of the Freelancers and Self-Employed Unit Ang Hin Kee said that having been working with various groups of coaches and instructors, the organisation realise that they face similar issues, common threats and training needs to develop their career.
Owing to the nature of their work, these freelance coaches and instructors are vulnerable to physical injuries or illnesses that can easily make them out of work for weeks without income. To address this issue, NICA will introduce an insurance plan designed to cater to their needs, in accordance with recommendations made by the Tripartite Workgroup on Self-Employed Persons.
Those registered as NICA members can enjoy up to 50 percent discount off their premium for the first year for a prolonged medical leave insurance product. Detailed information on the insurance providers and products will be announced at a later date, said NICA.
Mr. Ang estimated that the insurance plan will cost about S$1 a day, providing coverage of about S$50 to S$80 daily. NTUC is currently conducting discussions with several insurers, both local and foreign, to find a suitable plan, Channel News Asia reports.
Labour chief Ng Chee Meng said instructors and coaches he had met told him that they felt government procurement systems can be “fairer” to the coaches and instructors. He noted that their wages have not risen for quite a few years. Not to mention, their services have been somewhat depressed in terms of remuneration because of the market competition.
“So coming together as NTUC, I think we can afford better representation for them as a group to better understand their needs and to work better with Government.”
With S$117 of membership fee year, NICA members can enjoy a “full suite” of NTUC benefits, including insurance coverage against death and disability, a S$250 training voucher for courses, as well as deals and discounts with merchant partners. NTUC expects the association to be formed by the end of the year.