The Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations has been leading general protests and strike actions in schools and on streets across Iran in the past few months. Below is CCITTA’s final resolution issued on Monday, January 31, 2022, by the end of a three-day countrywide actions of teachers in Iran.
Final resolution of the countrywide rallies of teachers of Iran, Monday, January 31, 2022:
We are gathered here today to say loud and clear that the education system in this country is declining and that educational justice has been denied more than ever. We have gathered to announce that situation is unbearable and that the lives and livelihoods of retired and employed education workers, like the majority of the society and the working people in Iran, are in crisis.
For months, teachers have been protesting against the current situation in various ways; but there seems to be that the government is not willing to hear our voice.
Although the government of Rouhani and Nobakht had a role in creating this situation, the current president, denies any responsibility by blaming the previous government for the current problems; and a minister is in charge of the education despite teachers protesting his selection. Teachers are well aware of unprincipled and destructive criteria taken by the executive and legislative powers in appointing this minister.
The government presented an anti-people and anti-education austerity budget to the parliament. The budget was approved by parliament, as the parliament in practice acts in the interests of the government, not the people; and unfortunately, the judiciary suppresses any critical and opposition voices instead of complying with the rightful and legal demands of teachers.
The government is responding to the demands of teachers with an iron fist; especially by imprisoning teachers such as Mohammad Taghi Fallahi and Hossein Ramezanpour. Additionally, there has been the arrest of Shaban Mohammadi, a member of the board of directors of the Marivan Teachers’ Trade Association, and also the summoning of dozens of union activists in a various cities from Tehran to Marivan.
The Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers Trade Associations (CCITTA), while protesting the continued imprisonment of teachers and repression of union activists, declares that it will not be intimidated by these repressions, and stands firmly with teachers and union activists. The CCITTA is willing to pay the price for justice and freedom while also teaching our students lessons of standing for justice.
The system does not seem to have a clear plan to improve the livelihoods of teachers and other toilers, and this boils down to a decline in the share of the allocated government budget towards these groups. At the same time, the share of government budget towards military and other unaccountable institutions has increased dramatically.
The rulers must understand that the people of Iran, and especially the teachers, have never been more aware of their rights as they are today. They must understand wherever the state has sought to eliminate their rights and demands by repression and intimidation, the people and teachers have resisted with great courage.
Within such a context, the CCITTA called for the two days sit-Ins and one day of the nationwide rally, from January 29th to 31st, 2022, the call was supported widely in defence of the rights of teachers and students.
Today we emphasize more than ever the following demands:
- The law on equalization of retirees’ pensions should be implemented in accordance with the Civil Service Law in current year.
- The classifications of teaching positions should be fully approved and its budget for this year and next year must be approved in advance.
- The privatization and marketisation of education must end and the government must stop relying on the funding of education from the pockets of parents and students.
- Free and quality education for all students as per Article 30 of the Constitution.
- Rights of the service workers of schools who work hardest are to be respected and their efforts rewarded.
- The looting of the Teachers’ Reserve Fund must stop.
- Job security for contracted and temporary employees of the education system.
- The arrest and detention of teacher activists and prosecution of protesting teachers must be stopped and imprisoned teachers must be released.
As previously announced, we will continue our sit-in from 12th to the 16th of February, and we will announce a nationwide rally on Thursday, the 17th of February.
If by the end of February, the classifications of teachers are not determined based on at least 80% of the salaries of the university faculty members and new edicts are not issued and also the harmonization of retired teachers’ pensions are not determined, the CCITTA will organize wider protests including strike action in March.
In the end, it is appropriate to thank all education workers who were present at the sit-in protests and rallies and to say to those unresponsive colleagues that the interests of all employed and retired educators are intertwined. We need to overcome all doubts and fears and join the protesting teachers across the country. The only way to win is through solidarity and unity.
Coordinating Council of Iranian Teachers’ Trade Associations
Telegram channel of CCITTA: https://t.me/kashowra
Contact the secretary of the council house: @maHamahangim