Teachers’ Association Requests Raise in Salary

Cambodia Independent Teach­ers’ Association President Rong Chhun has requested that Prime Minister Hun Sen raise salaries for teachers to at least $100 per month.

“Inflation has continued to rise, and the government can’t do anything to stop it,” Rong Chhun wrote in a letter to Hun Sen on Monday, adding that in order to accommodate inflation, teachers’ salaries should be raised from $25 per month to $100.

“If the government is not able to reduce inflation, they must raise the teachers’ salary,” he said. “Inflation is a burden and a pressure against the civil servant and teachers’ living standard.”

In a letter to the public dated April 8, Hun Sen announced a 10 percent increase in allowances for teachers, effective this month, as well as a 20 percent increase in all civil servant salaries.

The raise was intended to boost living standards, Hun Sen said in the letter, which also outlined the government’s various economic successes of 2007—such as 1.6 million tons of surplus rice and 84 new garment factories.

Rong Chhun’s letter, written in response to Hun Sen’s missive, said the raise was insufficient.

“The raise was very small. Teach­ers do not have enough money for expenditures on food, daily living equipment and goods because inflation has raised prices a dozen times over,” he said.

National Assembly First Vice President Nguon Nhel said Mon­day by telephone that the government wants to raise civil servant sal­aries even more, but that pay in­creases need to be done in accordance with what the government can realistically afford.

“If we raise the civil servant and teacher salaries beyond our capability…it would be a problem,” he said. “We raise people step by step.”

SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann said teachers need to make at least $150 a month in order to meet their everyday financial needs.

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