Teachers from Sulaimani have refused to resume classes and in-person education on February 7, a date set by the ministry, in protest of overdue salaries.
SULAIMANI - Teachers from Sulaimani have refused to resume classes and in-person education on February 7, a date set by the ministry, in protest of overdue salaries.
Salaries of teachers and other public servants have been delayed for months and as part of harsh and continued financial austerity measures in place for the last 5 years, public salaries have seen cuts between 21% to 50%.
Making matters worse, a recent failure in the budget deal with Baghdad, ended the regular monthly transfers to the Kurdistan Region and essentially halting investment in local infrastructure and services.
After remaining closed for over 5 months amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Education set February 7 as the date for schools to reopen, but Protesting Teachers Council said on Wednesday (February 3) that teachers will resume strike unless the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) resolves the issue of unpaid salaries.
“All the salaries that have not been distributed in the name of [the KRG’s austerity measures] should be paid through a special mechanism,” Ahmad said, “teachers are frustrated that the KRG has so far ignored their demands”
According to new terms of austerity measures, teachers have seen their salaries cut by 21 percent after an amendment occurred earlier this year to the withholding system by the KRG.