Teachers across Iran held demonstrations on Thursday, protesting the regime’s disregard for demands that they’ve been making for months.
Working and retired teachers are demanding the implementation of the “classification plan,” the adjustment of retired teachers’ salaries, and the addressing of other basic problems they are facing.
The rallies were planned and organized in advance. The Iranian Teachers Coordination Council, which had organized the rallies, had declared that the announced budget for teachers in the classification legislation is not enough and the government and parliament are just trying to put something on paper.
According to the statement of the council, the government has only allocated 25 trillion rials to the classification plan. Therefore, in the current year, only 12.5 trillion rials will go to the teachers’ needs and the rest has been postponed to the next Persian year (starting in mid-March) and predicated on having enough funds. According to the regime’s own experts, the plan needs at least 50 trillion rials.
The classification plan states that teachers should be divided into five classes and their salaries must be adjusted accordingly.
Demonstrations took place in at least 66 cities in most provinces, including Tehran, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Khuzestan, Yazd, Fars, Qazvin, Mazandaran, Khorasan, Kerman, and Sistan and Baluchestan.
The teachers of Tehran and Alborz provinces gathered in front of the Majlis (parliament). In other cities, the rallies took place in front of the offices of the education ministry.
In addition to their economic demands, the teachers chanted slogans against the regime’s repressive response to their demands. “Detained teachers must be released,” the protesters chanted, protesting the regime’s repression of their ongoing demonstrations. “This nation has never seen such injustice,” the protesters chanted.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), expressed support for the protests of Iranian teachers.
“By chanting, ‘Teachers would die but won’t submit,’ they echo the cries of a nation who is fed up with the mullahs’ oppression and injustice,” Mrs. Rajavi said. “Khamenei, Raisi, and his cabinet of IRGC terrorists and torturers squander the Iranian people’s assets to make bombs, missiles, and drones. Thus, they keep teachers and other sectors of society under the poverty line.”
Teachers have been regularly protesting the regime’s disregard to their problems. The regime delayed the ratification of the classification legislation for several months. Now that it has been ratified, it is only addressing a meager part of the problems the teachers are facing, which is why they are back in the streets to reclaim their rights. Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, the speaker of the Majlis, has declared that the 25 trillion budget was declared by the government and it won’t be changed.
The Teachers Coordination Council also declared that legislation for adjusting the salaries of retired teachers has been given to the Majlis in summer but has yet to be discussed in parliamentary sessions. Some reports indicate that MPs are circulating petitions to prevent the legislation from being ratified.
The Iranian regime is literally stealing from the country’s teachers by maintaining their salaries at a low level. Many teachers have committed suicide in recent years due to poverty and not being able to provide for their basic needs. A previous statement from the Iranian Teachers Coordination Council cited various such accounts of teachers taking their lives.