Jordan: Teachers Strike Enters 4th Week Despite Talks

Published September 27th, 2019 - 08:32 GMT
Teachers strike enters 4th Week (AFP File Photo)
Teachers strike enters 4th Week (AFP File Photo)
Highlights
There was no announcement by the association suspending the strike, launched on September 5 to demand a 50-per cent pay raise for teachers

The ministerial team tasked with following up on a three-week teacher strike is currently in discussions with the Jordan Teachers Association (JTA) over “specific figures” with direct impact on all teachers’ wages, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said on Thursday.

Razzaz noted that he has instructed the Education Ministry to “intensify efforts over the next 48 hours to facilitate the return of students to classroom next week”, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

There was no announcement by the association suspending the strike, launched on September 5 to demand a 50-per cent pay raise for teachers that they say was promised to them by the government five years ago.

However, a statement on the JTA’s official website ahead of Thursday’s talks with the ministerial team said that the JTA delegation was “optimistic about reaching a final agreement that leads to fulfilling the demand for raises”.

In remarks to the Jordan Television after his meeting with the ministerial team, Razzaz said the figures that are currently on the table would not adhere to the pay raise mechanism currently in effect, which many teachers are disgruntled about, noting that it stipulates requirements such as theoretical evaluations, publications or postgraduate degrees.

Rather, the new proposal would tackle the evaluation of teachers’ performance in classrooms, “which is what teachers and parents are calling for”, the premier said.

Following three weeks of deadlock in negotiations between the two sides to end the strike, Razzaz noted that the positive signs are “not at all surprising”, noting that improving teachers’ living conditions is in the interest of both the government and the society.

“We are hopeful that there will be no strike next week and both teachers and students return to the classroom,” the prime minister said.


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