Teachers across Iran are taking part in a two-day national strike in a dispute with the Ministry of Education over pay and budget cuts.

The Coordinating Council of Teachers Syndicates in Iran (CCTSI) called upon teachers to cancel lessons and to hold sit-ins in their schools on October 14 and 15.

According to posts on social media, teachers in Tehran, Mashhad, Tabriz, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Ilam, Yasouj, Sanandaj, Hamedan, Amol, Zarin Shahr, Gonabad, Marivan, Sarvabad, and Garmeh took part in strike action.

The sit-ins come as Iran’s truck drivers continue three weeks of strike action in the northwestern province of Qazvin.

Iran’s economy took a nosedive earlier this year when the US announced in May it was pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal and re-imposing sanctions on Tehran.

Inflation has seen prices rise while the value of the Iranian rial has tumbled against the dollar. As a result, workers and business owners have seen their incomes slashed.

“Out-of-control inflation and climbing prices have gripped the country, and the purchasing power of teachers, like that of many other hard-working classes, has fallen significantly,” the CCTSI said in a statement ahead of the strike.

“What’s more, the cost of education is on the rise, and the Iranian government and parliament have failed to answer to teachers’ faltering quality of life and the ailing education system. The time has come for us to protest this systemic disorder.”

The CCTSI said “the majority of teachers live below the poverty line” as a result of cuts and the “looting” of the Teachers’ Savings Fund.

It urged school principals to support the strike and called on security forces not to repress their peaceful protest.

“This October sit-ins are only the beginning: if we don’t see swift, constructive, and concrete changes to the pay slips of active and retired educational employees, and to per-capita funding of students, we will escalate our general strikes come November.”

Source » rudaw