Union study highlights deteriorating conditions of public teachers in Turkey
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
DHA photoA study carried out by an education trade union has revealed the deteriorating working conditions of teachers, with 87 percent of them saying they cannot meet their children’s needs because of their low incomes.
In the study carried out by Eğitim-İş, 707 teachers from 43 provinces spoke about their experiences and working conditions. The results revealed that almost half of the teachers in Turkey are suffering psychological problems because of their insufficient incomes, while half of them said they would quit their jobs if they found better-paying jobs.
According to the research, around 75 percent of teachers think their jobs have lost respect as a result of the low salaries they earn. The same number of teachers also stated that their productivity at work drops and that they are demoralized because of their concerns over their loan debts.
The results also showed that 81 percent of teachers said their salaries could not meet their children’s nutrition needs, 85 percent said they could not meet clothing needs and 87 percent could not meet their education costs.
Half of the teachers also said they feared being dismissed from their jobs.
According to 86 percent of teachers, the quality of education provided in public schools is worsening “day-by-day.”
The teachers also expressed their concerns over the pressure they face from their colleagues, as 66 percent of them said they cannot express their views freely when speaking to other teachers.
Mehmet Balık, the chair of Eğitim-İş, said the salaries they receive was only about half of the wage of the poverty line.
Wages have not increased in accordance with the number of years worked, meaning the salary of a teacher with 15 years of experience is still just 2,700 Turkish Liras, Balık said.
The insufficiency of salaries decreases work productivity, the trade union said, proposing the prioritization of an increase in wages so that teachers “can live humane lives.”
The union also suggested that teachers should get a salary bonus equivalent to one wage on Nov. 24 Teachers’ Day and that they should be provided with free internet and free transportation.