Mass resignation of nursery school teachers in Hrodna

2014 2014-01-15T13:59:05+0300 2014-01-15T13:59:05+0300 en

Salaries of nursery school teachers dropped to 2 million rubles (about $208).

Former nursery schools earlier owned by Azot enterprise will be financed from the municipal budget starting 2014. Nursery school teachers began to file resignation letters, RFE/RL reports.

Volha, a former teacher of nursery school No. 42, says most staff members, including the director, applied for resignation, because they don't want to lose the severance payments paid by Hrodna Azot enterprise. Only seven out of 50 employees continue to work.

“I have good severance pay, 43 million rubles with the salary. My salary rate was 2.8 million. Benefits and two shifts gave about 5 million per month. Now they offer me only 2 million,” she says.

Her colleague Sviatlana adds: “People quit because salaries are too low for this job. I don't know who will work there. They don't want to care about us, qualified teachers.”

Children's parents ring alarm bells. A mother says one day her child asked to eat after returning from the nursery school, which never happened before. It turned out that the nursery school doesn't have enough cooks.

“They also don't have enough teachers. They even have to unite groups of children of three years with 6-year-olds. It's not normal. A teacher shouldn't take care of several groups.”

New director Liliya Luksha says all 11 groups work as usual, but have only one teacher per group. She adds that new teachers are being employed. She says she doesn't understand why teachers quit before new employees came: “Teachers were assigned to each group. Some of them quit and didn't even say anything to parents. Children got used to them. Teaching is a calling. They should have waited for new people to come.”

Alena, whose daughter goes to the nursery school, says she doesn't condemn the teachers who quit, because they didn't want to get lower salaries and lose severance payment. She wonders why Hrodna city educational department didn't take necessary measures, though they knew that most staff wanted to quit: “They knew it. I think the responsibility lies with the city educational department. I always look for something better too. I wouldn't work if I didn't have enough wages. Yes, it affects children, but I wouldn't, can't and won't condemn the teachers who quit.”