Teachers in Iran are continuing their fight for a living wage. Many teachers across the country struck last month for two days, but others are continuing to refuse to return to work until their demands are answered.
The poverty line salary in Iran is about $578 a month, yet most teachers in the country earn less than $376 according to reports.
Teachers say they do not understand why government has increased the budgets of other departments by 60% yet the education budget has only increased by 20% – lower than the rate of inflation which has been as high as 40% in the past two years. Of course the cut to budgets affects school supplies and conditions of work for teachers and students as well as teachers’ pay.
Teachers in three towns are continuing with their strike. This is particularly brave, since, as we reported last week, teachers unions are persecuted in Iran, with many activists imprisoned and some even executed, like Farzad Kamangar, pictured above who fought for the rights of women and minorities in the country.Teachers there face the same problems as many of their colleagues all over the world – in particular temporary contracts and low pay. But in addition they face repression of their organisations and danger to themselves. As a previous statement by the teachers union put it: “The teachers, despite all the challenges, continuously try to educate the children of this country, but prison, rope, exile and sacking is their reward. They are not allowed to freely express their ideas.”
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