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Razzaz urges parents to send their children to schools, calls on teachers to end strike

Administrative Court orders immediate suspension of teachers' strike

By JT - Sep 29,2019 - Last updated at Sep 29,2019

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz speaks during a press conference on Sunday during which he said that his government will implement the court ruling ordering an immediate suspension of teachers' nationwide strike (Photo by Sahim Rababaa)

AMMAN —   Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Sunday urged parents to send their children to schools, underling that his government will implement the court ruling ordering an immediate suspension of the teachers' nationwide strike.

In a press conference on Sunday,  Razzaz said that his government had received a notification from the court, saying: "In respect of the supremacy of the law, we expect all to abide by the court ruling."

Meanwhile, the Jordan Teachers Association (JTA) said that teachers will go ahead with their strike.

Following a meeting on Sunday, JTA Vice President Nasser Nawasreh said: "We fully respect the law but we will move forward with our strike which is legal and protected by the law."

Nawasreh called on teachers to abide by the JTA council's decision.

The Administrative Court on Sunday issued a ruling ordering an "immediate" suspension to teachers' nationwide strike following a lawsuit filed by parents.

Citing the high risks of teachers' strike, the court said that its ruling to suspend teachers' work stoppage fell within its jurisdiction as the judicial entity tasked with issuing immediate rulings on matters that would be of "catastrophic consequences" if left unresolved.

In its ruling, a copy of which was seen by The Jordan Times, the court said that the lawsuit was filed against JTA's council and the minister of education by Maher Kurdiyeh and Majdi Asfour, parents of students at two public schools in Amman.

The court said that its decision stemmed from the “genuine threat” of the strike to the interests of the petitioners which requires immediate action before it is too late.   

The court ordered that the teachers’ strike be suspended temporarily until a final ruling is issued on the lawsuit filed by parents. 

The government has held ten meetings with the JTA but all was in vain with the latter submitting no proposals. 

Razzaz said that the government is drafting a “comprehensive plan” to improve teachers’ living standards.

The premier said the decision to implement pay raises for all teachers, ranging between JD24 and JD31, was taken unilaterally after all attempts to reach a deal with the JTA failed to end the strike.

Teachers began a nationwide strike on September 8, demanding a 50-per cent pay raise. 

The JTA said that teachers were pushed to strike following the “humiliating treatment” they received by authorities during the sit-in they staged in Amman on September 5.

Razzaz said he had met with the syndicate’s deputy president at his home, adding that no agreement was reached due to teachers’ adamancy on their demand for a 50-per cent pay raise.

“We stand with teachers but not with the strike which has become illegal affecting students and their constitutional right to education,” Razzaz said, calling on parents to send their children to schools on Monday.

Razzaz said that neither his government nor former ones have ever promised to grant teachers a 50-per cent pay raise while the JTA said that such a promise was made in 2014. 

“We would like to reiterate and insist that the right to free speech is protected by the law. Demanding better living conditions is a right but should be called for through legal tools that do not harm others’ interests,” Razzaz said. 

The premier said that a return to dialogue with the JTA requires teachers to end their strike.

The current and next academic semesters will be extended to compensate for classes that had been missed as a result of the strike, Razzaz said.

“We rely on parents to send their children to school,” Razzaz said, calling on teachers to respect students’ constitutional right to education.

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