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Teachers' month-long strike over, students to return to school

Gov't, teachers ink ‘historic’ deal to end ‘longest’ work stoppage in Jordan's history

By Raed Omari - Oct 06,2019 - Last updated at Oct 06,2019

Students are set to resume classes today following a deal between the government and teachers (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — Students are set to resume classes on Sunday following a deal between the government and teachers under which the latter agreed to end their one-month strike having their demands for an apology and pay raise met.

Following a meeting that extended until late hours Saturday, a government's team and the Jordan Teachers Association (JTA) reached a deal to end the strike under which teachers were granted pay raises ranging between 35 per cent and 75 per cent depending on the rank. 

Teachers have demanded a 50 per cent pay raise and an apology from the government as their conditions to end the strike, which began on September 8.

During a press conference in the early hours of Sunday,   JTA Vice President Naser Nawasrah described the deal as “historic”, valuing the government’s efforts to end the “longest work stoppage in the Kingdom’s history.”

Nawasreh said that the new pay raises will come into effect as of January 1, 2020 according to the deal under which first, second, third and fourth-rank teachers will receive 35 per cent, 40 per cent, 50 per cent and 65 per cent salary increases respectively.

Nawasreh said that a new “lead teacher” rank was created under the agreement to be granted 75 per cent pay raise.

He called on teachers to resume their duties actively on Sunday and receive their students with “sweets”. 

In a letter he sent earlier on Saturday to the JTA occasion of the World Teacher’s Day,   Prime Minister Omar Razzaz commended teachers and their efforts, saying, "Teachers’ dignity is our dignity and we do not accept offending or disrespecting them."

In the letter, the JTA received as an apology, Razzaz expressed the government’s regret for any act that might have affected teachers’ dignity, pledging to take action once results of the investigation and the National Centre for Human Rights’ report are out.”

The JTA has requested an apology from the government for the way it handled the sit-in they staged in Amman on September 5, during which the syndicate claimed its members were subject to violations.

The Public Security Department denied the allegations, but confirmed that 50 teachers were detained during the protest for “illegally forcing their way through to the government’s headquarters on Amman’s Fourth Circle”, which was the location designated by the JTA for the protest.

The Administrative Court issued a ruling last week, ordering an “immediate” suspension of teachers’ nationwide strikefollowing a lawsuit filed by parents. But the JTA insisted that the strike is legal and that the Administrative Court’s ruling is not abiding, as it can be challenged.

However, the Supreme Administrative Court ruled that contesting the verdict does not require stopping its implementation unless the court orders otherwise.

The JTA announced last Thursday the withdrawal of the legal challenge it logged against both courts’ verdicts on the strike but said a new strike would start on Sunday if the government responds negatively to their demands.


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