Striking teachers reject GNA offer: report
By Hadi Fornaji.
Tunis, 13 October 2017:
Teachers are reported to have rejected the pay offer from the Presidency Council’s education minister Osman Abdel Jalil, calling it unfair.
Yesterday, Abdel Jalil proposed that in addition to their standard salaries, kindergarten and the primary school teachers of grades 1-3 be paid a further LD 12 a class, other primary school teachers LD 10 a class and secondary school teachers LD 15, all starting in November. Head teachers’ salaries would be increased by LD 300 a month and their assistants by LD 200 a month. Additionally, all teachers would be provided with heath insurance and guards would be employed under the control of the interior ministry to ensure security at schools.
He said that the offer had been approved by the Presidency Council (PC) and the finance ministry. It would cover all teachers across the country whether in areas controlled by the PC or the Libya National Army.
Teachers have been demanding that their salaries be doubled in addition to health insurance and better security.
Spurning the pay package, they are reported saying that it divides teachers and favours those who teach more than others. Some teachers, they say, have 20 or more classes a week, others just ten. They are sticking out for a 100-percent increase on all teachers’ salaries.
Currently, monthly salaries for all teachers regardless of the grade they teach are between LD 600 and LD 1,000 depending on the length of employment. The proposed increased would see some secondary school teachers gaining an extra LD 1,200 a month, more than double what those at the top level currently get. Others would gain no more than LD 600.
The teachers have been on strike for almost a month now, preventing the new school year from restarting. It was originally supposed to begin in September, but was put back to 1 October, them 15 October, the day after tomorrow.
This now looks unlikely and teachers have continued to protest across the country.
Although Abdul Jalil said that the offer had been approved by the PC and the finance ministry, it is not yet clear if the Central Bank would pay it. Teachers constitute the largest public sector pool of employees; there are now reported to be around quarter of a million although the education ministry’s payroll accounts for almost half a million people.
The offer as it stands would add several hundred million dinars to the already overstretched public expenditure bill.