AMMAN –– Teachers on Saturday rejected a new offer by the government to grant them 12.5 per cent of the professional allowance this year, and phase the remaining of a demanded 30 per cent raise next year, describing the proposal as “degrading”.
But according to teacher activists in contact with lawmakers who were mediating between the two sides, the parliamentarians vowed to continue their efforts to reach a deal that would send back hundreds of thousands of students to classrooms after teaching in the majority of schools came to a halt due to the teachers’ nationwide strike.
“It’s yet another way of humiliating teachers... We are not beggars, we are only asking for our rights,” spokesperson of the Jordan Teachers Committee, Sultan Batayneh, told The Jordan Times yesterday.
However, dialogue is still open with the government in order to reach a solution, provided that decision makers deal seriously with educators’ demands, the activist said.
The offer was made during a day-long meeting between officials and parliamentarians to negotiate a deal to end the strike before it enters its third week.
The government’s proposal is the second to be offered and rejected by teachers after it unified the professional allowances in the education sector at 70 per cent of the basic salaries, against teachers’ demand for a long-promised 100 per cent allowance.
The first offer was to raise the educators’ allowances to 80 per cent retroactively this year and phase the remaining 20 per cent over the coming two years.
Raed Azzam, rapporteur of the Amman Free Teachers Committee, said yesterday’s offer “provoked” teachers and made them more determined to continue with the work stoppage till they receive the full 30 per cent this year.
“The offer makes us look as if we are on strike for an additional one or two dinars,” he said.