Extra degree allowance for Bahrain state employees rejected

October 16, 2012

Bahrain’s government has turned down a proposal to give public sector employees new allowances for their academic degrees.

MPs in the lower chamber had urged the government to include academic allowances in the salaries of eligible public sector employees, arguing that the decision would recognise their merits and boost their productivity.

The lawmakers suggested an allowance of BD100 (Dh974) for a BA or a BS, BD 150 for a higher studies diploma, BD 200 for an MA or an MS and BD300 for a PhD. However, the government said that the allowances would bite into the state budget. Around 18,000 employees in the public sector hold a university graduate or post-graduate degree and any additional allowances based on their academic levels would cost around BD21.5 million annually, the government said in its response. According to official figures, 3,254 employees have advanced degrees — higher than a BA or an BS — and the government spends around BD560,000 annually in recognition of their academic status. The lawmakers’ proposal would mean an extra BD5.7 million annually for this category, the government said.

For the government, the salaries that the public sector employees are getting are closely tied to their academic degrees. The degrees are among the criteria used to hire and appoint the employee to a certain position and its perks and the extra allowance would be duplicity of the financial benefits accorded by the state for the job, the government said.

Around 41,000 people are employed by the public sector in Bahrain, up from 38,516 in 2006. According to the Civil Service Bureau (CSB) that oversees the sector, 35,630 were Bahraini nationals while the remaining 5,343 were from other nationalities. The number of foreigners in 2006 was 4,031. However, while the number of men went down slightly from in 21,824 2006 to 21,804 in 2010, the number of women shot up from 16,692 in 2006 to 19,169 in 2010.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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