Wed | Dec 8, 2021

Teachers feel underappreciated and demotivated

Published:Wednesday | April 28, 2021 | 12:05 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

Recently, the minister of finance announced a modest increase in wages for public-sector workers. I have seen where political hacks on both sides are either praising the increase or rebuking it for not being enough. This letter is just to put some simple points across from the perspective of the persons who have to live with the increase.

First, based on my salary as a senior teacher, I would get somewhere around J$3,000 on my net pay. That, literally, is not enough to cover the increase in water and electricity tariffs and the fees charged by the Internet service providers.

Second, salary deductions have increased by around 6.5 to seven per cent in the first quarter of the year. Therefore, after tax deduction, that $3,000 would be taken back from us and I would see a further reduction in salary by some $2,300.

So while an increase is needed, what has been approved is actually making us poorer, based on the increases in pension and NIS contributions. It feels like for all our efforts we are only rewarded with taxes.

Although the work-from-home order for teachers is in effect, it does not mean that all teachers work from home all the time. There are still some administrative duties for which we have to go to school at least once per week.

In a meeting with the Ministry of Education, about a month ago, we were asked to email our concerns, which we did, but we have not received a response or an acknowledgement of our correspondence.

As teachers, we feel underappreciated, demotivated and burdened.

BEATRICE GORDON

St Catherine