Iran: Teachers’ Campaign of “No to Pay Slips and Salary Policies”
By Staff Writer
According to several online reports, Iran’s teachers have begun a new movement called “no to pay slips and salary policies”.
The head of the Teacher’s Union of Iran, Jafar Ebrahimi, says that this movement first began with a protest on 11th July and is expected to continue for 10 days.
He added that the purpose of this movement is to say that “It is unfair for teachers to receive less than 2 million Toman, when even the poverty line is higher than 4 million Toman”.
As reported by a local news website, Khabar Online, Ebrahimi has stated that due to the policies adopted by the Management and Planning Organisation (MPO), teachers are now deprived of an “appropriate salary budget, and as a result, the quality of education has also been lowered for students”.
He also bitterly emphasised that “with the negligence of the Ministry of Education (MOE), all vital pillars of the country’s educational system, such as teachers and students, will face a serious crisis soon”.
Based on Khabar Online, months have gone by since the bill of a 6-10 percent increase in teachers’ income has been issued, with no signs of it taking effect just yet. Just as believed by the activists of the Teachers Union, the rights that are being considered in these policies “are in no form in proportion with the increasing inflation and the degrading livelihood of teachers”.
According to another local newsagency known as Tasnim, teachers and principals are also very unhappy with the elimination of certain rights from these new policies, such as the “family allowance considered for single girls, and the extra pay for educator’s hardship”. In fact, single girls have reportedly had their monthly income cut by 150 thousand Toman, which given the current circumstances of teachers, is a considerable amount.
In response to the educators’ complaints, the authorities of the MOE have only reiterated their obligation to go forward with these policies, as they’re ordered by the Government Accountability Office.
Khabar Online also reports that in the mentioned movement of “no to pay slips and salary policies”, teachers have been tearing their pay slips apart, as a symbol of their extreme frustration with such an unjust structure of education.
Over the past several days, this movement has been shifting from the online platforms to the actual streets, where groups of teachers have rallied in front of MOE’s main office, in provinces of Fars and Qazvin.
Whilst calling for an increase income in their protests, teachers, as well as principals, deputy principals, and administration assistants, have also demanded “improvement of insurance policies for educators, clearance of government’s overdue debts to teachers , bonus payments for retired educators from 2017, quality improvement in all education sectors, deconstruction of the current regulations behind extra pays for hardship, decentralization of overall policies, and a change of security outlook on activists”.
With regards to the lowered qualify of education for students, Ebrahimi has also criticised the government for “taking from people’s pockets” by reducing the budget and capitation of schools (reported by Khabar Online).
He adds: “on one hand, they announce on TV that it is illegal to take money from students’ parents, but on the other hand, they issue circulars in which it is advised to get money from parents, which places parents in an uncomfortable situation with schools and teachers”.
He added: “the money taken from parents does not even go to the teachers. Our teachers share the same living conditions as the rest of the students and people of Iran. Our union’s fight for a better livelihood for our teachers, is not just for teachers themselves but also for a bigger picture which includes our students and their quality of education. Because if our teachers earn a sufficient income, they won’t have to look for additional jobs, and thereby, can spend more time on students’ education”.
In recent years, teachers have complained about their livelihood amongst other issues, at multiple occasions. Instead of having them acknowledged or resolved, several activists have been accused of security offences and locked up in prison.
The Human Rights organisations, the Teachers’ Union, and many other workers, have called for their freedom many times, but are yet to be heard.