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Jordan threatens to replace teachers if strikes continue

Thousands of Jordanian teachers gather near government headquarters, during a protest demanding a 50% hike in their salaries in Amman, Jordan on September 05, 2019 [Laith Joneidi / Anadolu Agency]
Thousands of Jordanian teachers gather near government headquarters, during a protest demanding a 50% increase in their salaries in Amman, Jordan on 5 September 2019 [Laith Joneidi / Anadolu Agency]

Jordan’s Ministry of Education yesterday threatened to replace teachers who did not return to work and end their strike action, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported.

The ministry asked school principals to call on families to send students to school starting today, stressing that any teacher that does not return to work would be replaced.

According to Al-Quds Al-Arabi, this decision came following a ruling by the administrative court that the teachers’ strike must be suspended.

Prior to this decision, the Jordanian Teachers Syndicate decided to continue its strike – which is entering its fifth week – despite a government decision to raise salaries by ten per cent.

READ: Jordan strikes back against protesting teachers

In the wake of the government’s decision, Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Razzaz was reported by Reuters saying: “It’s high time students go back to school. We hope the union will look positively at these decisions.”

However, the Syndicate rejected the government’s decision and accused the prime minister of imposing a one-sided solution and said it needs a real rise in salaries.

“You are imposing a solution from one side. This is an authoritarian method,” Nasser Al-Nawasrah, deputy head of the Jordanian Teachers Syndicate, said in a statement.

READ: Israel analysts warn of ‘increasingly chilly’ relations with Jordan

Meanwhile, the government, which according to Reuters has public debts of around $40 billion, stressed that the increase on offer was the maximum it could provide in the light of the chronic deficit in its annual budget.

In 2014 the Jordanian government agreed to provide teachers with a 50-per cent pay rise however this has never been implemented.

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