President Ali announces salary adjustments, duty-free concession, other benefits for teachers
His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has announced salary adjustments for graduate teachers, an increase in the Remote Areas Incentive (RAI) for hinterland teachers and duty-free concessions for teachers who hold a substantive appointment as a Senior Master/Mistress. This follows the president’s engagement with teachers from across the country as well as representatives of the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) and other unions, a few weeks ago.
During a live broadcast on Thursday morning, the head of state announced that all Graduate Teachers who are holders of a relevant Bachelor’s Degree (University of Guyana, GOAL Programme) will benefit from $1 billion in salary adjustments, benefitting 4,000 teachers. This is effective from December 2023.
In addition, teachers with a Bachelor’s Degree will receive an education allowance of $10,000 monthly amounting to $120 million annually. Holders of a Master’s Degree will also receive $20,000, amounting to $240,000 annually and a teacher who holds a doctorate will receive $30,000 amounting to $360,000.
This revision in allowances will benefit 4,500 teachers across the educational system, amounting to an investment of $500 million yearly.
“Additionally, any preexisting allowances paid in relation to the Post Graduate Diploma in Education (DipEd) will remain in place. The adjustment to the salary and allowances of these workers, depending on the salary scale, represents between a 10 per cent and 17 per cent increase on the current minimum salary paid to these workers,” the head of state further disclosed.
Additionally, a Graduate Senior Mistress/Head of Department will now have their current salaries increased from $243,069 to $262,917, while a Graduate Senior Assistant Mistress working in the hinterland will now have their current salary adjusted from $223,232 to $243, 076.
The Remote Areas Incentive (RAI) which is payable to teachers residing in the hinterland, will be increased to $20,000monthly,effective December 2023, benefitting over 2,400 teachers, totalling $260 million.
“The revision to education allowances, represents an overall 12 per cent increase, compared to the previous minimum salary paid to a Graduate Senior Mistress/Head of Department …. With the inclusion of the revision to education allowances and RAI, this will represent an overall 16 per cent increase, compared to the previous minimum salary paid to a Graduate Senior Assistant Mistress in an RAI area,” President Ali stated.
Concerning duty-free concessions, all teachers who hold a substantive appointment as a Senior Master/Mistress or above within three years of retirement and have not received a previous duty-free concession are entitled to duty-free concession for one motorcar up to 1500cc.
“This intervention is expected to cost $150 million annually. As of now, we have approximately 100 concessions given to teachers annually. Outside of these 100 concessions now, we are putting the position that every teacher, once you are a Senior Master/Mistress and above, you are now entitled to this concession, three years before your retirement,” Dr. Ali explained.
These adjustments and revisions to the education allowances for teachers amount to $.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 need to understand, not the immediate benefit but this also will bring long-term benefits to teachers,” President Ali said.
In 2022, the head of state made similar salary adjustment announcements for 5,000 healthcare workers and almost 9,000 members of the disciplined services amounting to $3 billion in disposable income for these workers.