Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Government Keeps Increasing Salaries for Civil Servants

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The Royal Government of Cambodia has confirmed that civil servants’ salaries, especially for teachers, have been steadily increasing every year. This announcement was made publicly by Ngo Hongly, Secretary General of the Council for Administrative Reforms in the Council of Ministers during a press conference at his office on October 5.

The Secretary General Hongly said that since 2001, the government has increased civil servants’ salaries five times with five percent each year in order to improve their living-conditions. He said that the Royal Government of Cambodia has also increased the salary of all government’s staffs including teachers, police men and military forces with 20 percent.

“The government has a clear responsibility to increase salaries for civil servants. In early October 2001, the basic salary of a Cambodian civil servant was only 81,100 riel (about US$19.5) per month but in early July 2009, the salary has been increased up to 339,040 riel (about US$81.5) per month. This shows that the basic salaries for civil servants have been increased over four times and more than 400 percent during the past seven years,” he said at the press conference.

Hongly added that the increasing of the civil servants’ salaries has shown the government’s hard work, strong efforts, and high responsibility in preparing and taking care of the living-conditions of the government’s civil servants in Cambodia.

Relating to teachers’ salaries, Hongly emphasized that in 2001, the primary school teachers’ salary was 90,900 riel (about $21.85) while the highest salaries for teachers at high schools or universities was 136,250 riel per month (about $32.75), in July 2009, the lowest salaries of teachers was 210,800 riel (US$50.67) per month while the highest salary of teachers is 680,120 riel (about US$163.49) per month excluding other benefits.

Thong Borann, Director General of the Staff Department in Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), said that to promote the quality of education and improve the teachers’ work and living-conditions, MoEYS as well as the Royal Government of Cambodia have been working hard.

Since October 2002, MoEYS has been providing 40,000 riel (about US$10) for teachers who teach in a rural or disadvantaged area, in addition to their basic salaries; 50,000 riel (about US$12) for education staff who have been working in remote or disadvantaged areas in North-East areas, in addition to their basic salaries; and 60,000 riel (about US$14.42) for education staff who works outside districts and provinces across the country.

On October 5, about 50 teachers from 17 cities and provinces gathered at the office of the Khmer Teachers Independence Association in Phnom Penh and protested for the increase in salary. The meeting was organized by Rong Chhun, President of the Khmer Teachers Independence Association in Phnom Penh. Rong Chhun said at the gathering that currently salaries of Cambodian teachers are very low and not fitted the price of goods in markets and teachers’ living-conditions in Cambodia. He has called on Cambodian government to increase salaries by least one million rile (about US$250) for each teacher so that he and she is able to effectively works and to support their families.

The Secretary General Ngo Hongly said that the Royal Government of Cambodia cannot accepted the request which was made by Rong Chhun because the government has a limited budget and has no ability to do so. He said that last year, Rong Chhun had asked the Royal Government of Cambodia to increase salary to US$100 for teachers and now he protested to the government again for an increase to US$250 for this year.

He accused Rong Chhun and his association of politics aiming to disturb the government’s political stability in Cambodia.

“Cambodian government has a clear responsibility and objective in increasing salaries for its civil servants. We cannot do like Rong Chhun who made his statement baseless and without thinking about the consequences of the world economic crisis,” he said.

No comments: