Up to 17,000 teachers staged a rally in Indonesia on 2nd August, demanding an improvement to their welfare.
The protesters, representing about 46,000 teachers from the West Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia, congregated in front of the regional governor’s office in Mataram.
In his speech, HM Syubki, head of the West Nusa Tenggara chapter of EI affiliate the Association of Indonesia Teachers (PGRI), said that besides demanding an improvement to welfare, the protest was held to remind the government to meet its promises to improve education.
With regard to Law No. 14/2005 on teachers and lecturers, the teachers urged the central government to regulate the implementation of the law.
"The law mentions there are promises that teachers will get functional allowances amounting to 100 percent of their salaries. But promises remain promises as long as there is not regulation to implement it," Syubki said.
Aside from the welfare improvement demands, the teachers also protested a decree that allows for increases to the incomes of both the governor, his deputy, and civil servants employed at the provincial secretariat.
"The issuance of the decree shows the West Nusa Tenggara governor does not care about the welfare of the teachers, many of whom have been forced to become a motorcycle taxi (ojek) driver. We want the revocation of the decree," one of the teachers said.
During the rally the teachers unfurled a number of banners, which read, among others: "Dear officials, your teachers ride bicycles, but you ride BMW sedans", "The title is equal to generals, but the salary is the same as corporals", "Reevaluate Governor Decree No. 116."
West Nusa Tenggara Governor HL Serinata promised to convey the teachers’ aspirations to central government.