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Teachers In Iran Launch A Campaign To Protest Low Wages

Teachers protest in Iran. Undated.

Protests by Iranian teachers against their low salaries has gained momentum in recent days, social media reports say.

The campaign, under the banner of “No! to Payslips and Salaries” was launched by several teachers’ rights activists almost immediately after the Ministry of Education declared it will increase teachers’ salaries six to ten percent for the next school-year, a local news website, Khabar Online reported.

This is unacceptable for teachers, who have one of the lowest salaries; often paid irregularly.

The campaign started on Wednesday, July 11, and will continue for ten days, the Inspector of Coordination Council of Teachers’ trade unions across Iran, Ja’afar Ebrahimi has affirmed.

Lambasting the Management and Planning Organization (MPO) for depriving teachers of an “appropriate budget for educators’ salaries”, Ebrahimi has bitterly insisted that, by disregarding the educators’ hardship and demands, the Ministry of Education (MoE) is pushing teachers and students into a deep crisis.

According to Khabar Online, the decision to boost salaries up to ten percent has been announced after months of delay, adding, “Teachers Trade Union activists believe that the increase does not correspond with the current inflation rate and the quality of teachers’ livelihood.”

Several activists have gone further by saying that the raise is even less than the inflation rate officially admitted by the government.

Meanwhile, activists complain that many bonuses, including extra pay for hardship, have been eliminated by MPO and MoE.

Furthermore, the teachers are calling for a thorough review of their insurance policy, as well as demanding overdue bonuses for their retired fellows.

Footage and Images, widely circulated in social media, show enraged teachers and educators tearing up their payslips.

The virtual campaign has turned into a real one in recent days through protest rallies held outside the MoE’s offices across provinces of Qazvin and Fars.

Iranian teachers have repeatedly held protest rallies in recent years, demanding “their rights”, including the right to launch independent trade unions.

Responding to these protests, the authorities have so far preferred to detain activists and charge them with vaguely defined accusations, including “propaganda against the establishment”, “disrupting public peace and order” and “attempts against national security”.

Three prominent teachers’ rights activists, Esma’eil Abdi, Mahmoud Beheshti Langarudi and Mohammad Beheshti are currently behind bars for the same vague charges, human rights organizations say.