EI condemns the arrest without warrant of Ali Akbar Baghani, head, and Beheshti Langroodi, spokesperson, of the Teachers Trade Association of Iran (Kanooneh Senfiyeh Moallemaneh Iran).
The men, detained at an undisclosed location since 7th March, bring the total number of leaders of teachers’ organisations arrested this year to 20.
Teachers are currently protesting in front of the Parliament to uphold their right to a decent living wage. More specifically, teachers object to the absence of a budget line for enactment of the National Public Service Bill, also known as Pay Parity Bill., which would guarantee them improved salaries.
The financial situation of teachers has become so dire that they, like many other workers in the country, have had to take on second and third jobs to be able to feed their families.
An elementary school teacher with lots of experience, and near to retirement, makes an average monthly salary of 240,000 to 340,000 toomans, while assistant teachers receive only 140,000 to 160,000 toomans, and are not eligible for social security benefits.
According to a study from the Minister of Welfare and Social Security, in 2003, the poverty line for a family of 5 is 400,000 toomans.
EI has no member organisation in Iran but is in contact with the Coordinated Council of Cultural Workers Association which includes over 30 teachers’ associations in the country. We will continue to monitor the situation.