Iran teachers strike continues into 2nd day

The nationwide strike by Iranian teachers has continued into its second day with images on social media showing that some students have also joined their teachers.

A striking teacher with students also holding up signs.

Reports also indicate that on Sunday, security forces detained Mohammad-Reza Ramezanzadeh, the Secretary of the Northern Khorasan Province Iran Teachers’ Trade Association. Ramezanzadeh is also the Secretariat of the Teachers’ Coordination Council in Iran, which was created by the ITTA and called for the recent strike.

Detained teacher Mohammad-Reza Ramezanzadeh

The striking Iranian teachers are protesting low wages, inflation, and high prices, the low quality of the curriculum and the imprisonment of teachers.

Reports indicate that the stike has spread to 66 cities and 130 schools in 23 provinces.

History of Iran’s teachers’ movements

Iran’s Teacher’s Trade Association is the largest independent teachers’ union in Iran and has been active for close to two decades.

From 2002 to 2006, the union held a number of gatherings and protest actions which were met with suppression and the arrest of activists. After the 2009 unrest in Iran, the government cracked down more harshly on teachers unions.

Ismael Abdi, the former Secretary General of Iran’s Teacher’s Trade Association is currently in prison.
The 44-year-old high school teacher is serving a six-year prison sentence.

On May 9, 2010, a teacher and trade union activist, Farzad Kamangar was hanged by the judiciary.

Iranian teachers’ unions have seven requests from the government and have delivered these demands to the Iranian parliament and government on many occasions. The requests, which have been ignored thus far, are:

  • Putting education as a priority in policy making decisions and allocating a higher budget for education.
  • Higher wages for teachers in accordance with the economical condition of the country and non discrimination against teachers.
  • Urgent action for the dire living conditions and pension of retired teachers who in most cases, do not receive even half the wages of working teachers.
  • Freedom to legally create teacher unions. Teachers should be able to freely participate in union activities without fear of repercussion or persecution.
  • Free education.
  • Higher quality of education.
  • Security for trade unionists and the release of detained trade unionist.

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