Teachers Protest Wages That Are Below the Official Poverty Line
Strikes continue in a number of Iranian cities
Teachers in the cities of Marivan, Baneh, and Shahrood, who have refused to attend class since January 20 in protest against wages that are below the official poverty line, have announced that they would not abandon their protest until their demands for salary increases are taken into consideration, according to labor activist Mansour Osanloo.
While school teachers in several Iranian cities ended their two-day protests over their low wages on January 21, 2015, ILNA News Agency reported that after refusing to attend classes for two days, the Shahrood teachers also gathered in front of the city’s Education Office. Teachers from Iranian cities such as Robat Karim, Shahrood, Karaj, Shahr-e Ghods, Shariar, Semnan, Marivan, Saghez, Baneh, and Islam Shahr, have participated in the strikes.
Last week, these teachers sent a letter containing some 6,000 signatures to the office of the Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, stating their demands for salary increases equal to the poverty line. The teachers have yet to hear back from Larijani regarding their requests.
“The teachers are concerned about the rumored [inadequate] 14% salary increase in the upcoming year, and for the same reason consider the government’s proposed budget for the Ministry of Education to be inadequate,” a labor activist told ILNA News Agency on condition of anonymity.
“While the budget for certain institutions has increased more than 60% for the upcoming year, it is not clear what kind of justification the government has for a budget increase of merely 20% for education,” added the labor activist.
Parliament Member Saeed Zamanian said on January 22, 2015, that the poverty line is now defined at roughly 2 million toman per month (about $578). Most teachers earn less than 1,300,000 toman (about $376) in monthly wages.