KT Open Space: Teachers present their case

I think the management expected us to receive this ‘good end’ with whoops of joy, but to the lot of us who come under the category of ‘TGT’, and who have been stretched beyond breaking point for the past two years without a fil as increment to our salary (which range from Dh2,650 to Dh2,900 pm) this was the last straw.

By A Teacher (KT Open Space)

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Published: Tue 25 May 2010, 12:21 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 3:45 PM

I’m not sure what broke the fragile thread that was holding us together, whether it is the joke of an increment itself, or the disparity between our salary and that of the PGTs, the teachers of grades 11 and 12.

On Wednesday, we, the TGTs as a group went up to the Principal to convey our grievances. He asked us who our ‘ring master’ was and told us to stop our ‘uncivilised behaviour.’

He told us that ‘he would convey this to the management, but that he can assure us that nothing would be done’, and that we had no right to compare our salaries with that of a Headmistress or Principal (which no one had even the slightest inclination to, anyway). In the end, he refused to speak to us anymore – he would only speak to two representatives whom we choose at a later date.

Now, it doesn’t take genius to work out that the two representatives’ career in the group – which practically owns two-thirds of the Indian schools in the UAE – would end if they ‘represent’.

As things stand, there’s not one of us who can actually afford to lose our jobs. The teachers from the primary section were asked to sign a form last week that they would accept the Dh 200 hike. We are sure we too would be given such a paper on Sunday. And we too would tick the ‘yes’ column and sign.

The question that now remains is just this, is this really the end of it all?

Let’s look at some statistics. The school has hiked its fees by Dh80 to 100per month. The total strength of the school is around 7,600. The school would thus rake in a minimum of Dh650,000 more than it used to every month. Out of around 350 teachers, more than 300 would get a ‘hike’ of Dh200.And around 25 (if you stretch it) would get Dh650. That brings the expenses on account of teachers’ salaries increasing by a maximum of Dh80,000 per month.

And, parents were told that the increase in fees is in order to pay the teachers. So much for a ‘noble profession’!

And every week, we’ll be back ‘to re-dedicate ourselves to the greater uplift of the magnificent institution we all love’, to classrooms that are so overflowing that it’s impossible for students to stand up properly and greet a teacher, or for a teacher to get in and teach comfortably.

But, we, the tired, depressed, frustrated and helpless bunch of teachers will wearily do all that is expected of us, as usual. Only, it will not be as usual, something certainly has changed. But then, who’s bothered?

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