Sat, 16 Dec 2000

SLB teachers demand better pay

YOGYAKARTA (JP): As many as 23 intern teachers from schools for the mentally disabled in Bantul regency, accompanied by dozens of their students, staged a rally at the Yogyakarta gubernatorial office on Thursday to demand a pay increase.

The teachers, from the Forum of Intern SLB Teachers, said they had been working at the schools for between five and 15 years, yet none of them had been given the opportunity to become full- time teachers.

"We just want the chance to become civil servants and we are ready to take the required selection tests," said Sutiyem, 35, the forum's coordinator.

"If we became civil servants, we would remain at our present jobs but with better pay based on the length of our service," said Sutiyem, who works at SLB Marsudi Putra II.

She said the intern teachers received between Rp 5,000 and Rp 15,000 per month.

"Each of us also receives Rp 300,000 a year from the local administration. However, only half of that sum is given to us. The other half is said to be for working capital," she said, explaining that the working capital was a collective savings account arranged for and managed by the teachers.

Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X received the protesters in his office and promised to do what he could to help them.

"I will try to talk with the related institutions, including the provincial education office," the sultan said, adding that he needed more detailed information before he spoke with anyone.

Bantul regency has 12 schools for the mentally disabled, with a total of 700 students. Two of the schools are state-owned. (swa)