The teacher in the Jordanian Ministry of Education Fatima Al-Khasawneh (49 years) did not expect that the economic consequences of the Corona crisis on Jordan would blow her life, as the financial allowances were reduced from her salary by 110 dinars ($ 160), and her husband, a teacher in a private school, lost his job, which confused Its financial accounts.
Al-Khasawneh told Al-Jazeera Net, "As soon as I got the financial bonuses, I took a good loan of 1,000 dinars (1.4 thousand dollars) from an Islamic bank to pay my daughter's fees at university."
And she continues, "I paid two installments of the salary increase that we got as teachers from the loan, after the strike last year, but I was unable to pay the rest of the payments because of the suspension of the financial bonuses that we depended on."
The teacher in the Jordanian public schools, Yusef Al-Ajouri, 32, also obtained a soft loan of 2,000 dinars ($ 2.8 thousand) to complete his marriage requirements, and she paid him to obtain the loan and the increase he received was 80 dinars ($ 110).
But due to the suspension of the salary increase that he received from the beginning of the year - as Al-Ajouri adds to Al-Jazeera Net - his financial affairs deteriorated, and he was forced to postpone marriage for the next year until the debts were reduced.
At the beginning of this year, teachers received financial increases on their basic salaries, ranging between 50 and 70 dinars (75 and 100 dollars), and at a cost of about 60 million dinars (85 million dollars annually), after a strike that lasted 35 days last year, which is the longest strike In the history of the kingdom.
Teachers complain about their low salaries, like other public sector employees. The newly appointed teacher receives - according to the civil service system - a basic salary of 150 dinars ($ 211) in the seventh class, in addition to technical, cost of living and family allowances for married couples. Bringing the total salary to 470 dinars (660 dollars).
After that, the gross salary is subject to several deductions, including social security, education guarantee, finance, and health insurance at a rate of 16.5%; The final teacher's salary reached 390 dinars ($ 550), which was a major reason for teachers ’protests, and the financial bonuses received by teachers contributed to improving their living conditions and increasing their families’ spending on their living requirements.
However, the outbreak of the Corona virus in Jordan at the beginning of last March, and the economic crisis it caused; The Jordanian government decided to stop the financial increases and bonuses granted to public sector employees and workers in the security and military services until the beginning of next year 2021, as part of an official austerity campaign to confront the repercussions of the spread of the virus in Jordan.
According to economists, the financial increases obtained by teachers, public sector employees, security and military agencies at the beginning of this year reflected positively on the national economy, as it revived markets and increased commercial activity.
Economic analyst Maan Al-Qatamin believes that the financial increase obtained by teachers and public sector employees, albeit a slight amount of 60 dinars ($ 85), has contributed to improving part of their financial incomes, especially since most teachers owe banks and financial institutions and others.
Al-Qatamin added that the value of the financial allowance that the government deducted for teachers and public sector employees is about 140 million dinars (200 million dollars), and this figure does not constitute a burden on the government, and its disbursement to employees moves the economic wheel for the commercial, industrial and service sectors, and contributes to alleviating the state of stagnation in Markets.
He continued to Al-Jazeera Net, "The government was the first to pump more money into the market through financial increases granted to public sector employees, because they contribute to the movement of trade exchange and pay employees for more spending instead of the austerity they are currently experiencing because of the deduction of bonuses."
The bonuses are returning
For its part, the Jordanian government promised to re-pay financial allowances to teachers and public sector employees early next year 2021, considering that they are a benefit for all employees, and stopping them came to adapt to the circumstances of the spread of Corona.
In a speech a few days ago, Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz said that his government is committed to what it pledged to ensure a decent life for teachers and public sector employees, and “we have implemented what we committed to do towards teachers in October 2019, except for what requires legal amendments in Parliament.” .
The teachers' strike last year and their moves to restore the financial allowances during the past months is a dangerous indicator - according to experts - of the state of social pressure that this large sector of public sector employees is experiencing as a result of their low salaries compared to their counterparts in other formal institutions, and their low below the poverty line in Jordan.