On Friday, corresponding to the last days of 2021, the morning shift workers in the Tabriz Tile Factory went on strike to protest the low level of wages, and what they considered the failure of the employer to fulfill his promise to increase them. Meanwhile, farmers in the Islamabad Lutik district of Hamoun in Sistan and Baluchistan went on strike due to lack of fuel, according to the website of the opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran.
With regard to teachers, their protests and demonstrations pervaded the cities of the country in the past days, including the capital, Tehran, Mashhad, and Siraz, and they intend to continue them in the new year to demand an adjustment to their salaries.
In mid-December, the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran (Parliament) drafted a bill entitled “Teachers Classification”, with the aim of addressing the dire economic conditions of teachers, but they saw it as less than their ambition, especially as it linked raising salaries to the state of the budget.
According to state television, the teacher classification bill “should reach teachers’ salaries to at least 80 percent of the salaries of university faculty members,” but government officials say that the available resources cannot achieve this.
‘We’ve reached the peak’
Sharara Amidi, an Iranian teacher and one of the participants in the demonstrations, told Sky News Arabia that one of the most prominent demands of teachers is to implement the Civil Service Administration Law, speed up the implementation of the classification plan, then improve the quality of education, and generalize free education for students.
She also called for the release of imprisoned teachers and students, noting that among the arrested teachers were “Hashem Khastar, 70, Mr. Ismail Abdi and Ms. Nasrat Beheshti, both of whom are in critical health condition due to their ages, in addition to others.”
According to the Iranian teacher, “Our demonstrations and gatherings have been repeatedly confronted and suppressed by the security forces, and in the past three months, we had 6 large and huge gatherings, and we are now at the peak.”
Mahdi Uqbaei, a member of the National Council of Iranian Resistance, explains to Sky News Arabia that the reason for the critical economic situation is due to issues related to the huge budget allocated to military expenditures and support for militias abroad, which exacerbates the inflation crisis and leads to a remarkable increase in prices, as well as There is no minimum wage and benefits.
According to announced statistics and official statements in Iran, the poverty line in August 2021 amounted to more than 10 million tomans (equivalent to $370 per month at a daily transfer rate in the free market), while the average teacher’s salary ranged between 3.8 million tomans (equivalent to $140) to 5.8 million. (equivalent to $210).
These statistics highlight that teachers’ salaries are close to half the poverty line, and this gap is increasing rapidly with the staggering growth of inflation.