The granting of a purchasing power boost of 50% of the monthly remuneration to the president, vice president, ministers, and deputy ministers has taken the Bond of Teachers (BvL) and the Alliance of Teachers in Suriname (ALS) by surprise. The BvL/ALS demand immediate meetings with the government to talk about the purchasing power of teachers in this situation.
According to the union, teachers should also be granted a reasonable, percentage-based boost in their purchasing power. Although the teachers have already benefited from an SRD 2,500 rise in their purchasing power, other price increases, such as those in utilities and gasoline, have already exceeded that sum.
“If we see that the government members receive a purchasing power increase of 50 percent, we also want the teachers to receive a purchasing power increase in percentages,” the union emphasizes. The union indicates that granting a 50 percent increase in purchasing power will lead to unrest and destabilization within the education process.
The BvL/ALS also note that the Ravaksur union is still negotiating with the government. Vice-chairman Radjinder Ramnath tells Suriname the media that he is deputizing for the association chairman who has been on sick leave for a while. He is in constant consultation with her.
The granting of a 50 percent increase in purchasing power is included in a draft state decree approved by the State Council. The explanatory memorandum states that since 1994, financial compensation such as compensation and allowances have not been adjusted for the president, vice president, ministers and deputy ministers. The sharp decline in purchasing power since 1994 has also had major consequences for government members’ disposable income, according to the explanatory memorandum.
In the explanatory memorandum to the draft state decree, President Chan Santokhi explains that while in the last two to three years in particular, the income and also the remunerations and allowances of various professions in the judiciary and directors and deputy directors of a department of general administration have increased (including through the granting of purchasing power provisions), the mechanism for determining the level of compensation for members of the government has remained unchanged. The various allowances have also remained unchanged, the president says in the explanatory memorandum.