Ajman: British International School (BIS) in Ajman has cut teachers’ salaries 25 to 50 per cent for Term 3 in the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The school has seen income fall with “significant” unpaid fees for Term 3 as well as Term 2, BIS principal Andrew Marshall said.
BIS has also discounted Term 3 fees for all parents by 15 per cent, on top of reductions for timely payment and sibling discounts, he added.
A request for rent relief for the school buildings was turned down, Marshall said. BIS has three separate buildings and principals, one each for KG, primary and secondary.
He added that the school has allowed students to continue learning despite their unpaid fees.
“The salary reduction for the teachers for the current term is 25 per cent only, without any effect on end of service benefits,” Marshall told Gulf News in a statement.
However, the statement also said, “The teachers who do not have any teaching load post implementation of Ramadan timings and ministry’s reduction in non-core subjects are offered 50 per cent salary till the end of Term 3.”
At least two primary teachers told Gulf News that they and some colleagues they spoke with after a school meeting were asked to sign for a 50 per cent salary cut, with no mention of Ramadan or non-core subjects.
Separately, Marshall said: “The teachers who are not opting for their salary cut are given their notice period and end of services benefits as per the contractual agreement and advice of Ministry of Human Resources. The decision is made keeping in mind labour laws, and the signing of the contract temporary amendment is voluntary.”
An Indian primary teacher, who did not wish to be named, said she will receive Dh2,250 per month after the 50 per cent cut that she signed for.
“I had left my previous school to join BIS because they had offered me a higher salary. Now, I’m getting less than my former colleagues as that school didn’t do any salary cuts,” she added.
“I cannot quit at this juncture in my life. I’m alone in the UAE and supporting my husband, son, daughter and mother back home. How can I face them with this happening now?”
Another primary teacher, from Pakistan, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “We [teachers of grades one to four] were called in different groups on different times on Tuesday and had one-to-one meetings. Whoever I spoke with was offered a 50 per cent cut and signed, including me. I know everyone is facing problems these days, but a 50 per cent salary cut is too much – my work and responsibilities have not been cut by 50 per cent.”
She said her monthly salary was Dh5,000 before the cut.