Earlier this month, as part of a two-month-long campaign against low pay and pay disparity, hundreds of teachers protested outside the Iranian regime’s “parliament”.
In addition 600 teachers in Tehran, thousands more demonstrated in provinces throughout Iran.
One of the teachers’ slogans was: “We complain due to disparity, not poverty” (Ma az fargh minalim na az faghr) – a play on the words fargh (difference or disparity) and faghr (poverty). The teachers want an end to the pay discrimination they have endured for many years, and are demanding the same pay as other state employees who have bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.
One of the teachers gathered in Kermanshah, western Iran, told IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) that despite having a doctoral degree, his monthly salary of 1.4 million toman ($505) is much less than the pay of other state employees with a similar degree.
Some teachers have also protested against the low budget allocated to the Ministry of Education in 1394 (the New Year beginning on March 21). Although the health budget for next year is set to rise by 70 per cent, the education budget faces a budget deficit of five trillion tomans.
With even the underestimated official inflation rate standing at 16.2 per cent, the teachers are demanding a pay rise higher than the 14 per cent announced by the Education Ministry.