We’re building a new UNICEF.org.
As we swap out old for new, pages will be in transition. Thanks for your patience – please keep coming back to see the improvements.

UNICEF Social Inclusion, Policy and Budgeting

Protecting Salaries of Frontline Teachers and Health Workers

Cover Image
AUTHOR Jingqing Chai, Isabel Ortiz and Xavier R. Sire
TYPE Working Brief
DATE 2010
TOPIC Economic crisis and recovery

Public service providers, especially frontline school teachers and health workers at local levels, are crucial to positive outcomes for children. Low pay is a key factor behind staff absenteeism, informal fees and brain drain. In past crises, pay levels for teachers and health workers have fallen in real terms, adversely impacting children in poverty areas. Similarly, during the current crisis, initial evidence suggests that real pay levels are falling. Comparing salaries of primary teachers and nurses in over twenty countries reveals that in 2009 many were near the poverty line. Further, a desk review of recent IMF reports reveals that most countries are advised to cap or cut wage bills in 2009-11. Actions are needed to protect pay levels of frontline workers in social services, who are vital to achieving the MDGs and ensuring recovery with a human face.

Download Protecting Salaries of Frontline Teachers and Health Workers