Teachers in Iran held protest rallies in several cities to demand the passage of legislation that would guarantee higher pay amid skyrocketing inflation.
Responding to calls by teachers’ groups, protesters congregated outside the office of the education ministry in many cities and also outside the headquarters of the Planning and Budget Organization in Tehran on Thursday.
Parliament has failed so far to give its final seal of approval to a bill which would create a pay scale for teachers commensurate with the pay scale of university professors, guaranteeing up to 80 percent of the same salary grade.
Lawmakers have hesitated because there is no budget if a pay raise goes into effect. This year’s government budget has between 30-50 percent deficit, with forecasts of oil exports not having been realized.
Teachers have been frequently protesting in the past two months demanding a pay increase as the annual inflation rate has reached nearly 50 percent with food prices soaring an average of 100 percent in the past year.