President Ali announces increase in teachers’ salaries, allowances

Last Updated on Thursday, 9 November 2023, 9:50 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali on Thursday announced the following increases in salaries and allowances for teachers.
He said the announcement followed direct consultations with teachers and meeting between ministers and representatives of trade unions including the Guyana Teachers Union.

Dr Ali said teachers are among government workers who would receive a one-off GY$25,000 bonus payable in December 2023.

The President said he would shortly be announcing an increase in salaries for teachers and other government workers.

Bachelor’s Degree
All graduate teachers, example holders of a relevant Bachelor’s degree from the University of Guyana,a  degree awarding institution under the GOAL programme, or a degree certified by the National Equivalency Board, shall we move to the maximum of the scale applicable to the posts they currently occupy.  This will benefit over 4,000 teachers at an additional annual cost of $1 billion effective from 1st December 2023.  Additionally, teachers will receive an education allowance of $10,000 monthly for holders of a Bachelor’s degree. This allowance will be equivalent to $120,000 annually.

Master’s Degree:
$20,000 monthly for a master’s degree. This is an additional $240,000  annually for teachers holding a Master’s degree

All teachers holding a doctorate would receive a $30,000 monthly allowance, which is equivalent to $360,000 annually. That is additional allowances. This revision in allowances will benefit over 4500 teachers at an additional annual cost of $500 million.

Additionally, any preexisting allowances paid in relation to the Postgraduate Diploma in Education will remain in place. The adjustment to the salary allowances of these workers, depending on the salary scale, represents between 10% and 17% increase on the current minimum salary pay to these workers.

Remote Areas Incentive (RAI)
The RAI will be adjusted upwards from its current level the $20,000 monthly effective from the 1st December 2023. This will benefit over 2,400 teachers at an additional annual cost of $260 million. For illustrative purposes, these adjustments and salary increases will see, for example, a Graduate Senior Mistress/ Head of Department will now have their current salary adjusted upwards from $243,069 to $262,917.

And, with the inclusion of the revision to education allowances, this represents an overall 12% increase compared to the previous minimum salary pay to graduate Graduate Senior Mistress/ Head of Department. In the case of a Graduate Senior Mistress teacher, working in the hinterland will now have their current minimum salary adjusted upward from $223,232 to $243,076. With the inclusion of the revision to education allowances and RAI, this will represent an overall 16% increase compared to the previous minimum salary pay to a Graduate Senior Assistant Mistress in an RAI area.

Now, before I go to other matters, if you look at the average of the increase in salaries alone, the annualised benefit that will go to a teacher is close to $240,000 at a minimum level. When you add he allowances that will of course take this up further.

Duty Free Concessions.
All teachers, who hold a substantive appointment as a Senior Master/Mistress or above and are within three years of retirement, and have not previously received a duty-free concession on a motorcar shall be entitled to a duty-free concession for a motorcar up to 1500 cc. This intervention is expected to costs $150 million annually.

As of now, we have approximately 100 concessions that are given to the teachers annually. Outside of these 100 concessions now, we are putting the position that every teacher once you’re a Senior Master/Mistress and above, you are now entitled to this concession. If you have not received it as yet, three years before your retirement in keeping with the laws. Tthis additional benefit will cost $150 million annually.

These interventions for teachers aggregate a total of $1.9 billion in additional disposable income for teachers annually. These benefits will not only increase the disposable income of teachers immediately, but would also impact significantly on the pension and gratuity payments teachers will be entitled to on their eventual retirement. This is the point we have to understand; not only the immediate benefit, but this also will bring long term benefit to teachers in the calculation of their pensions and gratuity.