Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Doctors, teachers, lecturers and state attorneys go on stike to demand pay rise - Can they buy more?

Local doctors are on strike today, because they are not happy with the recent pay re-structuring. According to a doctor I met last night, his take home salary has decreased by about Rf3,000 after the restructure, although the government and civil service commission claims that there is a pay rise across the board. Doctors also claim that salaries of police officers and army has increased, however, doctors’ salaries have gone down. Because of today’s strike, more than 15 doctors have not reported for duty, and as a result many patients are unable to get services.

Meanwhile, a group of 450 teachers are preparing for a second strike, and this time they are determined to continue the strike until their demands for the pay rise is met. This is despite the fact that the civil service commission has already raised the teachers’ salaries in February. Similarly, Lecturers of the Faculty of Engineering of the Maldives College of Higher Education went on strike this week, also due to their unsatisfied demand regarding the pay structure.

It doesn’t stop there. State attorneys working at the Attorney General’s Office (15 out of a total of 18) did not report to work on Sunday also due to similar reasons. Apparently, the Permanent Secretary is reported to have resigned soon after the incident.

It's most likely that the government will in the end, again raise the salaries of the teachers, lecturers and the state attorneys. This is in addition to the pay rise to all civil servants in February 2009. On top of about Rf200 million monthly deficit faced by the government. On top of the declining tourist arrivals due to deep recession in Europe. On top of the increasing inflation due to increase in spending power with the circulation of Rufiyaa.

I don’t know whether these civil servants realize that the global economy is in a very bad shape. Our economy is also heading towards a major crisis period, due to the rising government deficit, increasing external debt, liquidity problems in the foreign exchange market, and as a result of all these, a possible shortage of basic needs in the market, and the possibility of further increase in prices of goods and services. They may all get a rise in salary and with it increase the amount of money they get each month. However, with prices increasing rapidly, they would soon feel that still they are not able to buy more with that money. The real value of their income would not have increased. What then? Organize another strike and demand another pay raise?


  1. Its better to pressure the government to reduce the political appointees, and also to decrease their salaries..

  2. that is v true... if only the gvt also realises this, then it wud be even better, bt i think they r just merely ignorant or just stupid....

  3. The tragedy is most of those political appointees are those with businesses, or other means of income. Still they are paid big salaries like 35K or 40K. Rest of the civil servants with no other means get a mere 5K.

  4. Doctors already are paid higher than most technical positions in the civil service. But aside from general doctors, how often does a specialist doctor is on duty at IGMH per week? twice? three times? and too its half day. But despite that they are paid so much. AND all of them work at clinics, refer patients to their clinics. Its disgraceful really. I can understand teachers demanding a pay rise, they are at schools every day, even at weekends, at extra curricular activities. But doctors I dont think so.

  5. There have been a lot of misconceptions about the pay of doctors.. Not all doctors do private practice and not all specialties entail seeing patients or prescribing medicine. Seeing patients in the OPD is not the only thing they do. Having 15 to 20 admitted patients under ones care, is virtually a 24 hr job.

    Also note that unlike other civil servants doctors get fewer holidays.

    With the current pay scale the chances of Maldivians going for further specialization is very slim, for the simple reason it will be counterproductive in terms of the time, effort and money it involves. And those who do advanced training will be very unlikely to return as is happening now..