27 августа 2015 18:39

Kazakh government confirms wages raise for teachers


Photo © Turar Kazangapov Photo © Turar Kazangapov

Kazakhstan is increasing the salary of teachers from January 1, 2016, Tengrinews reports.

Kazakhstan is increasing the salary of teachers from January 1, 2016, Tengrinews reports.

It was planned to increase the salary of teachers in 2017. However, with the free-floating exchange rate policy in place since August 20, Kazakhstan's national currency plunged - the tenge - to an all-time low by losing over 30% in a matter of days.

To quell the public, along with instructing the National Bank to compensate the exchange rate difference for private fixed-term deposits in tenge, President Nazarbayev suggested increasing salaries of administrative civil servants, welfares and student allowances. 

"We started implementing the new wages program for civil servants, it also involved an increase of welfare and student allowances. Then the government postponed the implementation of the program until 2017 due to shortage of funds. But considering the situation today, I suggest the government moves up the program by one year and starts it from January 1, 2016. It will be a solid support for our citizens," Nazarbayev said during a meeting in Akorda.

Taking Nazabayev's suggestion, the government has made corresponding changes to the schedule. Deputy Prime Minister Berdybek Saparbayev announced a salary increase by an average of 27% for teachers depending on their qualification.

"It was planned to increase the salaries in 2017, but amid the depreciation of the tenge, President Nazarbayev instructed the government to raise teachers' pay from January 1, 2016. The increase will be at around 27% depending on the qualification," Saparbayev said.

In 2014, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of Kazakhstan (currently the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development) announced plans to introduce a new labor remuneration system based on international experience in Kazakhstan. The first stage of the plan provisioned for enhancement of the fundamental component of the remuneration - the base pay that is not depended on qualification or performance. The second stage provisioned for implementation of mechanisms of remuneration based on performance. The final third stage was supposed to see the Ministry introduce additional payments based on the average cost of living in the regions.

When the plan was first put in motion, teachers salaries were expected to be brought to 92 thousand tenge, which amounted to $500 at the former currency exchange rate of 185 per 1 US dollar, according to Meta.kz.

Chairman of Kazakhstan's League of Lawyers Zhangeldy Suleimanov also spoke in favor of increasing the pay of teachers, according to Today.kz. He calculated that in average a teacher earns from 50 thousand to 100 thousand tenge in Kazakhstan. At the former exchange rate that amounted to $270-540. After the devaluation, the salaries' dollar equivalent dropped to $205-410.

“It is too little for this very important and difficult job. Teachers work 15 hours a day without holidays. Besides pedagogical work, teachers face a lot of technical and bureaucratic work, where they have to write various reports. Today, teacher’s work is the most stressful work," Suleimenov said. The lawyer proposed increasing the salary for teachers to 500 thousand tenge ($2030), which considering current economic situation does seem at the very least unrealistic.  

Meanwhile, local teachers can hope for a 27% raise that will barely cover the losses from the August 36% devaluation of the national currency and will happen only next year.

By Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina

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