Gradings And Hikes For Teachers
ALLOW me space in your newspaper column to express my opinion regarding the new salary gradings for civil servants. The 12% and 14% salary hikes for civil servants are welcomed, especially at this point when the economy is at its worst. However, the new grading for salaries of the job family: teaching and related personnel still confuses some of us, especially the Advisory Teachers (Education Officers).
PSM Circular No.3 of 2009: Re-grading of Principal for Primary and Junior Secondary School as amended with effect from 1 April 2009 refers. According to this Circular, all principals of schools will receive the same salary irrespective of what kind of school they head. This is indeed justifiable because heading a school is not as easy as A, B, C. Some people might argue that Secondary school principals deserve more than Primary and combined school principals forgetting that at secondary schools there are a number of departments which are headed by HODs. These people relieve the principal of some of the duties and thus the argument of paying such principals more than primary and combined school principals does not hold water.
At the moment, however, the regional staff of which Advisory Teachers are part have been left in the dark regarding the new grading. What we do not know is whether the circular in question applies to regional staff as well.
If the circular in question applies to the regional staff also, then it is logical for the OPM to indicate that the salary grade for Advisory Teachers (Education Officers) will Change from T4B( 141,057-157,629)T4C to 168,579-188,817. The simple reason why the salaries of Advisory Teachers should be adjusted as above is because before the adjustment, Advisory Teachers (Education Officers) were at the same level as the combined school principals. If the combined school principals’ salaries are adjusted, then it is fair to adjust those of Advisory Teachers as well.
The OPM should therefore consider establishing a new salary grading for Senior Advisory Teachers (Senior Education Officer) (maybe T4D) so that Advisory Teachers and principals of Primary, combined and secondary schools will be at T4C. I would like to draw the attention of the bargaining teams to this fact so that the situation can be rectified before the new salary gradings are interpreted as discriminatory. If the Circular in question does not apply to regional staff, then it is high time that the OPM issues another circular indicating the new salary grading for regional staff. We are eagerly waiting for the new developments in that regard.