Teachers to submit memorandum to KRG to decry unpaid wages

Kurdistan Teachers’ Union on Monday said they would submit a four-point memorandum to the government, demanding the payment of their salaries, as strikes continue in Sulaimani and Halabja over unpaid wages. 

Thousands of teachers took to the streets in Sulaimani and Halabja provinces on Sunday to protest three months of unpaid salaries, threatening to not return to classrooms if the government does not pay their wages. 

Their anger was further fueled by the remarks of Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Minister of Education Alan Hama Saaed who on Thursday said teachers "must end” their strikes and return to the classrooms this week. 

"Yesterday [Sunday] the Teachers’ Union held its ordinary meeting and decided to submit a four-point memorandum to the [Kurdistan Region] council of ministers regarding the boycott of teachers,” Ahmed Garmiyani, president of the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union told Rudaw on Monday.

He added that the points include the payment of salaries, the resumption of promotions, prioritizing the education ministry when paying wages, and permanently employing teachers still working without contracts. 

"We will not return to classrooms until our demands are met,” Karokh Abdullah, a representative of non-contract teachers told Rudaw, adding that members of the education directorate Sulaimani has asked them to return but that teachers remain determined to continue their strikes. 

Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani on Sunday urged teachers across the Region to strop striking so that students could resume their studies, reassuring that the KRG was "making every effort to improve the current situation.”

The Kurdistan Region’s civil servants went unpaid for around 90 days before a deal was struck between Baghdad and Erbil in mid-September, in which the federal government agreed to lend the KRG 2.1 trillion Iraqi dinars to pay the salaries for three months.

The new school year began on September 13 in the Kurdistan Region but public schools in parts of the Region including Sulaimani and Halabja have remained closed since as a result of the strikes.

source\ Rudaw


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