Jordanian teachers defiant after court rules against strike action

Jordanian teachers defiant after court orders end to four-week strike
2 min read
01 October, 2019
More than 100,000 public school teachers have been striking in Jordan since 8 September over promises made by the government in 2014 for pay rises.
Teachers have been striking since 8 September due to low salaries [Getty Images]
Students across Jordan have been urged to return to school after a court ordered the suspension of a nation-wide teachers' strike that entered its fourth week.

But despite the ruling on Sunday, teachers did not resume teaching their students this week, with substitute teachers employed by the Education Ministry filling their places, The National reported.

The Administrative Court issued an "immediate" suspension of the teachers' strike following a lawsuit filed by parents, Education Minister Walid Maani said. 

The ministry instructed public school principals to invite the students back to their classrooms, and to provide substitute instructors if teachers refused to restart classes

Minister of State for Legal Affairs Mubarak Abu Yamin said the suspension "must be implemented as issued", adding that the strike had already been ruled unlawful by the Law Interpretation Bureau. 

The Jordan Teachers Association (JTA) called for its members to "ignore all circulars" from the government, and protested that the strike abides fully by the law. 

"I'm not afraid of losing my job because I know Jordanian law stipulates that we have the right to strike," one of the striking teachers in Amman, Lama Kalouti, told The National

"I'm angry that the government is trying to turn the public against its teachers. We have the right to appeal the decision [to end the strike] so it needs time to be addressed, not immediately implemented. We are supposed to be a democratic society," she added.

Jordanian teachers have been striking since 8 September in the hopes of having their demands for a 50 per cent salary increase met. 

Government officials stated this amount could not fit into the state budget, as it would cost the equivalent of $158 million. 

But the JTA claims the pay rises were promised by the previous government five years ago.

Whilst this is contested by present government officials, they have recently pledged to improve working conditions and salaries by the beginning of 2020.

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