Thousands of Palestinian teachers have taken to the streets of Ramallah in the second mass protest in recent weeks, calling the Palestinian Authority (PA) to honour previous agreements and increase their wages.
In 2013, the PA agreed to a set of demands that was laid out by the Palestinian Teachers’ Union, including set salaries, regular wage increases and promotions in line with those of other PA employees, as well as free university education for teachers’ children.
According to the Union, the PA has failed to follow up with these promises and wages have now been frozen for several years.
In protest against the PA’s inaction, teachers at government schools began a strike on February 10 – within this ongoing industrial action, a mass demonstration last week brought an estimated 20,000 teachers, principles and supporters to the streets of central Ramallah.
A second mass protest was planned for Tuesday. In an attempt to prevent a repeat of the large numbers that participated in the first mass action, the PA established checkpoints around Palestinian cities and refused passage to several bus loads full of teachers.
Despite the PA’s attempts to minimise participation, an estimated 10,000 protesters again took to the streets of Ramallah calling for their employment rights to be met.