No salary increase for these Dubai-based employees

The UAE's biggest education provider, GEMS Education has announced a freeze in teachers' salary increments for the academic year 2018-19. The decision was made following an announcement by the Dubai Executive Council to freeze school fees thus easing the financial burden on the students' parents.


GEMS Education confirmed the news in a statement to Khaleej Times. A spokesperson said, "The current move to freeze salary increases is based on the recent school fee decision."

Khaleej Times spoke to a few teachers regarding this matter. Anonymously, they said that they were unhappy at the group's decision.

One teacher from a Dubai-based school said, "The last increment I received was Dh250. In comparison to other careers, it is a pittance." She added, "The salaries are nothing in comparison to what our superiors earn. For example, after eight years of service, my salary is Dh4300. However, the head of our department earns Dh10,000 plus other benefits. Our jobs are the most important. It builds a child's future."

Garrett O'Dowd, founder of Teach and Explore (an educational recruitment agency): "There seems to be a stagnation of salaries and a reduction in salaries in some private schools in the UAE. And what's happening is there is a huge upturn in salaries in China and Asia, which is now being touted as more attractive and lucrative than the UAE in some sectors. This was not the case over the last number of years. The UAE was always the best paid when it came to expats. With more schools in Asia and China opening up and offering better salaries, the top talent (when it comes to teachers) may disappear from the UAE in the not so distant future."

However, GEMS education also insisted that the cumulative salary increase for teachers' is at 25-48 per cent when the Education Cost Index only increased by approximately 11 per cent. "In addition, we created 7,000 new jobs over the same period," a statement from the group said.

The group has over 16,000 staff and education professionals and is one of the world's oldest and largest K-12 private education providers.

Operating 47 schools in the country, and a further three in the MENA region, GEMS Education currently serves over 115,000 students.

"Teachers within the GEMS Education network of schools are our most valuable resource and are at the core of our profession. We have placed them at the Centre of all our successes and in that context, we invested significantly in their salaries and benefits over the past five years," the statement added.

Source: khaleejtimes

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