Last Update 22:3
Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Tunisian teachers protest for higher wages, better work conditions

Reuters , Wednesday 6 Feb 2019
teachers
teacher's lab coat covered with signs in Arabic calling for increases of wages for teachers during a demonstration by Tunisian teachers outside the Prime Minister's office in the capital Tunis February 6, 2019 AFP
Share/Bookmark
Views: 756
Share/Bookmark
Views: 756

Thousands of Tunisian teachers rallied on Wednesday near the prime minister's office to demand better work conditions and higher wages, in an escalation of their protests against the cash-strapped government.

The government is under pressure from international lenders to cut spending and reduce its large budget deficit but also faces public anger over high unemployment, especially among the young, and poverty.

In Al Kasbah square in central Tunis, the teachers chanted: "We want our rights" and "This is a pen revolution" - an indirect allusion to the first "Arab Spring" revolt that erupted in Tunisia in 2011 and overthrew autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

1
Tunisian teachers shout slogans, wave national flags, and raise protest signs during a demonstration demanding wage increases outside the Prime Minister's office in the capital Tunis on February 6, 2019 AFP
 

Teachers have been boycotting exams for hundreds of thousands of students for nearly two months, fueling a mood of tension in the North African nation and prompting anxious parents to organise their own demonstrations.

The National Parents' Association has called for a big demonstration this week to protest against the plight of their children, saying they have become hostages in the dispute between the teachers' union and the government.

The teachers' union has asked for salary increases and a reduction in the retirement age, demands the government says are unfair and cannot be met.

The government is also in negotiations with the powerful public sector union UGTT, which has threatened to hold a two-day nationwide strike this month if the government does not accept wage increases for about 670,000 workers.

The UGTT, Tunisia's biggest union, shut schools, universities, ministries and municipalities across Tunisia last month in a similar nationwide strike.

Tunisia's economy has been in turmoil since the 2011 uprising, which was also sparked by anger over unemployment and poverty.

The political turmoil and a lack of reforms have deterred investment sorely needed to create jobs, forcing the government to implement austerity measures in return for loans totalling about $2.8 billion from the International Monetary Fund.

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.