Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh on Wednesday announced that an agreement in principle had been reached between UNRWA ’s administration and employees to end an open-ended strike by the agency’s workers .
At yesterday’s Lower House session, Judeh said the foreign ministry had brokered an agreement with the agency’s workers’ councils and that the employees had chosen to end the work stoppage, which began on Sunday.
Under the agreement, Judeh said, salaries of the agency’s workers will be increased by JD50 retroactively from the beginning of this year. Several deputies had previously called on the government to find a solution to the strike, which cut off services for the Kingdom’s 1.5 million Palestinian refugees.
Amman Deputy Mamdouh Abbadi charged that the salaries of UNRWA workers had been increased in all of its fields of operations except Jordan. The Lower House issued a statement yesterday calling on the foreign ministry to immediately resolve the dispute.
In the statement, a copy of which was made available to The Jordan Times, the Chamber expressed its “absolute” support for the demands of the UNRWA workers who it said were facing difficult financial situations. Nearly all of the agency’s 7,500 employees responded to a call by their representative councils to hold a work stoppage commencing May 6 in protest against UNRWA’s “reluctance” to meet their demands, which include a JD100 pay raise retroactively from the beginning of this year without any cut in their incentives.
The employees were also demanding promotions for teachers, directors and supervisors; filling of vacancies in all the agency’s sectors; and the improvement of work conditions. A source in one of UNRWA’s workers’ councils, who declined to be named, confirmed that the employees had ended their strike and would return to work today.
The source told The Jordan Times that the workers would negotiate the rest of their demands with the agency’s administration in meetings next week at the foreign ministry.