Accusing the government of neglect in finding a solution to their salary issue, teachers have threatened to agitate once again –this time for more than one day. Earlier in July 2008, teachers had agitated for one day, protesting against the government's failure to implement the 'new' salary scale for teachers.
A spokesman for the Teachers Association, which spearheaded last year's agitation, says this time the protest will be wider with more participation in the atolls. However, with the changed situation he could find support for agitation among teachers much below his expectations.
Much has changed since July. Recently the Civil Service Commission has announced a point system to classify jobs across the whole spectrum of Civil Service. Under the system, which will be implemented across the board, salaries will depend on the points scored by each job. There will be no place in the system for special salary scales for individual sectors or professions. Thus the 'new' salary scale that is the bone of contention for the agitation is actually as dead as a dodo.
Will the Civil Service Commission give a special package to the agitating teachers? Not likely. Giving special treatment to any particular group will open a Pandora's Box of agitation from all other sectors, resulting in the collapse of the Civil Service reform package. At best what the teachers could expect is a fair evaluation of the points their profession scores vis-à-vis other professions. Under these circumstances not many teachers are likely to join the protest.