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Jordan: Teachers' strike enters second week 

September 16, 2019 at 1:47 pm

Security forces block a road as part of their security measures as Jordanian teachers gather near government headquarters, during a protest for better pay in Amman, Jordan on 5 September 2019 [Laith Joneidi / Anadolu Agency]

Jordan’s teachers’ strike yesterday entered its second week amid anticipation of a meeting with Prime Minister Omar Razzaz to discuss the repercussions of the crisis.

Deputy Head of the Jordanian Teachers’ Syndicate (JTA) Nasser Nawasra yesterday invited Razzaz to meet with representatives of the striking workers either in the prime minister’s office or at a location of his choosing.

“We have not received a response regarding attending the meeting,” the union spokesman Noureddine Nadim said. “Unfortunately,” Nadim continued, “the government continues to deal with the teachers’ crisis with complete disregard.”

The union will take further action if the government does not begin dialogue, he warned without giving details of what was planned.

READ: Teachers in Jordan strike indefinitely

On Saturday evening, teachers rejected Razzaz’s call to suspend the strike because he did not address the teachers’ demand of a 50-per cent pay rise as per a 2014 agreement.

The union, which has about 140,000 members, is adamant that the strike will continue until their demands are met. It also said those responsible for abuses against teachers during protests two weeks ago must be held accountable.

The union says it had reached an agreement with the government in 2014 regarding a 50 per cent increase in basic salaries, but this has yet to be implemented. The current government says the pay rises are tied to teachers’ performance.

Walid Jallad, a spokesman for the Ministry of Education, estimates that the teachers’ demand will cost 112 million dinars ($158 million), according to Arab News.