Frustrated Palestinian teachers escalate strike action

Government under pressure as it refuses to pay teachers higher salaries in line with living costs.

Tens of thousands of Palestinian teachers have entered a second month of a strike, demanding a pay rise which they say was promised years ago.

The strike has closed state schools across the West Bank and pitted teachers against their own union leaders and a hesitant government. 

The teachers say their pay packets have not increased alongsde the rising cost of living.

READ MORE: Palestinian teachers march demanding salary increases

“Prices keep rising but my salary’s stayed the same. I’ve been teaching for 31 years now, and my basic salary is still just $600,” says Nasser Abu Thuraya, who is currently turning up to school but not teaching as part of the demonstration.

“I’ve put all my children through university, but with tuition, transport, books and other expenses, it’s been very very hard.”

Like several other teachers, Thuraya – a father of seven – has had to take on a second job.

For at least 20 years, he has moonlighted as a taxi driver. 

READ MORE: A protest of a different kind in Palestine

Meanwhile, the government is coming under growing pressure for refusing to compromise.

Al Jazeera’s Nadim Baba reports from Ramallah.

Source: Al Jazeera