Non-contract teachers continue strike in Kurdistan Region

Dozens of non-contract teachers protest in Sulaimani, October 23, 2021.

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Non-contract teachers continued on Saturday to boycott classes in the Kurdistan Region, calling for employment and full contract. 

Hundreds of teachers protested in Erbil, Sulaimani, Rania, Garmian and Chamchamal, according to Esta Media Network reporters.

They demand the government give them full contract and benefits that their colleagues receive, the reporters said.

“Our rights have been taken from us. We aren’t given our rights and benefits, even though we have filled a big space in the education ministry,” said a representative for the non-contract teachers who protested outside the Region’s Council of Ministers in Erbil.

“The process of education is progressing every year due to the non-contract teachers,” he told reporters. “But unfortunately, our demands haven’t been met yet.”

In Sulaimani, Esta’s reporter said dozens of teachers gathered outside the Kurdistan parliament’s office in the city, blocking the main road with chairs on the road.

“There are schools that are closed as non-contract teachers have gone on a strike, and that could paralyze education,” said a teacher, who is traveling between Sulaimani and Qaradagh to give lessons.

“I have been a non-contract teacher for over four years. How long should I be a non-contract teacher? There should be a law to end this and make us full contract,” she added.

Another teacher said she had gotten paid in October around 250,000 Iraqi dinars ($171) for the months of February and March.

“I pay 120,000 dinars to the taxi that I have taken to go to school,” she added. “We even don’t get paid on time. They pay us once in seven months.”

The non-contract teachers are paid based on the number of lessons they are given per day. The minimum amount per lesson given to teachers holding a bachelor degree is 4,000 Iraqi dinars ($2.7).

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