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Teachers Protest Low Pay, Hold Demos In Iran

Teachers protest in Tehran. July 28, 2019
Teachers protest in Tehran. July 28, 2019

Hundreds of retired teachers in Iran held rallies on Sunday, July 28, in front of the Islamic Republic's Majles (parliament) and offices of Plan and Budget Organization (PBO), to demand adjustment pays.

The enraged pensioners chanted, "Teachers Die, But Will Never Accept Abjection!", "We Will Not Step Back, Until Receiving Our Bonuses!"

Earlier on Saturday, the teachers had also held similar rallies outside the PBO, and the Ministry of Education.

Meanwhile, a member of parliament's Commission for Education and Research, Mohammad Javad Abtahi, announced that the caretaker of the Ministry of Education had promised to make adjustment payments before the end of summer. These payments are meant to partially compensate teachers and retirees for the high rate of inflation in the country.

Active and retired teachers have held numerous protest demonstrations during the past year, demanding better pay. Teachers are one of the lowest paid government employees.

Nevertheless, none of their demands have been met, so far. Moreover, several activist teachers have been arrested and sentenced to long prison terms.

On May 2, thousands of educators, celebrating National Teachers Day, rallied in front of the Education Department offices in at least thirteen large provinces to protest lack of government attention to their demands.

The Teachers' Coordinating Council of Iran (TCCI) said at the time that security forces arrested dozens of teachers for participating in widespread protests across the country.

According to TCCI's resolution read at the end of the May 2 rally in Tehran, Iranian teachers were deeply unhappy with living "below the poverty line," and minimal pensions paid to retired educators.

In the meantime, the resolution bitterly criticized the security forces of hindering teachers attempt to launch an independent and united trade union, while keeping several teachers' rights activists, including a board member of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association (ITTA), Esmaeil Abdi, behind bars.

According to Amnesty International, since May 2018 the Islamic Republic security forces have detained two dozen teachers and retired educators.