SEVERE TEACHER PAY CUTS DOWN TO 115 DOLLARS A MONTH
By Stephen Wilson
Moscow -- Drastic cuts in teacher's pay in the Komsomolsko region at a school in Ivanovski appears to have shocked some of the complacent Ministers of the Russian Duma . The Russian teachers had sent a letter to the Speaker of the Russian Duma, Valentina Matviyko, claiming their salaries
had fallen from an average of 20,000 rubles a month, to 14,000 , and in one school , down to an abysmal 7000 rubles. ( approximately 115 dollars a day)
How can anyone survive on 115 dollars a day ? The staggering unreal revelation dumbfounds Russians, never mind many Americans !
The speaker expressed embarrassment when she heard that teachers were receiving such a pittance. She stated : " On paper, the May declaration (a government promise where the salaries of both teachers and doctors would be doubled from 2012) looks smooth, but when it comes to concrete schools,
the real situation is utterly disgusting . How can a teacher get by on 7000 rubles a month? Who can exist on that pay?"
At last, someone in the Russian Duma has woken up to the fact that current teacher's pay in the regions is, to put it mildly - shameful. That it has taken years for someone in the Russian parliament to openly acknowledge and admit this indicates how out of touch many Russian ministers are. One can be forgiven for thinking they live in another planet.
The Russian minister has promised to take action by having a talk with the Minister of Education and Science. The response of the Education minister was a promise to fire the headmaster of one school in Novokuznetski should it be confirmed that the pay was delayed for several months. The most possible explanation lies with growing indebtedness of teachers and schools who can't afford to pay utility bills, rampant corruption ,and a highly inept and unjust way of distributing salaries.
However, the attitude of the speaker at least represents progress in contrast to the insolent attitude of the current Prime minister, who suggests teachers become businessmen in their 'free time'. One of the reasons why the members
of the Duma display a contempt for teachers is because their main criterion of respect is how much money people make. They believe being a businessman should represent the highest aspiration of a person. It is beyond their imagination
to grasp that there exist people whose main goal in life is not to make as much money as possible , obtain possessions and power but, to say, create a work of art, or teach a person for free. They presume everyone must think in the exact way as themselves. Yet in Russia , I have met dentists who have
been treating patients for free, and masseurs who refuse to take money for giving massages. Now, at least there are some Russian ministers who are wakening up and acknowledging another world exists.