Teachers in Iran Protest Low Salaries, Discrimination

Thousands of teachers took to the streets in dozens of cities across Iran this week, protesting the regime’s economic policies and demanding an end to discrimination against teachers in the Islamic Republic.

The Lebanese news website NOW reported:

The public-school educators held “silent gatherings” Sunday in the capital Tehran as well as in the Kermanshah, Qazvin, Ilam, Kohgilouyeh, Hormozgan, Kurdistan, Fars, Khorasan and Lorestan provinces, the semi-official Iranian Labour News Agency reported.

The report added that 600 teachers gathered in front of the parliament in Tehran, where they called on lawmakers to recognize their demand for higher wages. …

A number of protesting teachers in Tehran and Qazvin told the agency—which is close to Iran’s reform movement—that the protests were sparked in part because of “the discrimination practiced against” teachers.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran reported that teachers are demanding that their salaries be raised to at least poverty level.

To rein in the protests, the clerical regime summoned a number of teachers and threatened them not to hold public protests in current situation of the country which authorities described to the teacher as being ‘critical’.

However, despite repressive measures taken by the regime, large scale gatherings swept many cities across Iran on Sunday.

Women who had a significant presence and role in these gatherings chanted slogans against discrimination.

Last month, Al-Monitor reported that protests had been going on since at least January:

Prior to these gatherings and sit-ins, 6,000 Iranian teachers addressed a letter to parliament Speaker Ali Larijani, expressing their dissatisfaction with their working conditions. “The majority of Iran’s teachers are not able to take care of their basic needs and live under the poverty line. Their status in society has been damaged and they have lost their motivation to work,” stated the letter.

This situation appears to have spread a state of anxiety (Arabic link) among Iranian government circles, fearing that the teachers’ demonstrations are only the first spark of larger-scale protests in Iran. The Iranian government is worried that the next wave of protests will include trade unions and government employees who are also suffering from declining incomes.

According to the Al-Arab newspaper (Arabic link), this is the widest wave of protests against the Iranian regime since the election of President Hassan Rouhani in June 2013. Iranian media rarely cover these demonstrations.

[Photo: Freedom Messenger / YouTube ]