The nationwide sit-ins and strikes of teachers spread to 26 out of 31 Iranian provinces and at least 61 cities on Monday, October 15, 2018. Women teachers have played an active role in all these strikes and protests.
Security forces had been threatening activist teachers and members of the coordinating council to dissuade them from going ahead with the nationwide sit-ins and strikes. Iran’s freedom-loving teachers, however, started their nationwide sit-ins and strikes on Sunday, October 14.
The Iranian teachers’ nationwide sit-ins and strikes are in protest to inflation, high prices, dwindling purchasing power of teachers, privatization of education and receiving tuition from students, as well as fraud and embezzlement in the Teachers’ Reserve Fund.
Among other things, teachers are demanding pay raise proportionate to the poverty line, insurance, elimination of discrimination in the educational system, standardization of school, and securing their safety.
One of the most serious demands of the teachers is the release of imprisoned teacher activists, and recognition of independent teachers’ unions.
The information collected up until noon on Monday, October 15, 2018, the nationwide sit-ins and strikes of teachers have spread to the following cities and provinces. In some cities, students declared solidarity with their teachers in schools, high schools and universities:
Tehran Province: Tehran, Qarchak in Varamin
Alborz Province: Karaj
Qom Province: Qom
Mazandaran Province: Sari, Amol, Babol
Gilan Province: Langrood, Astara
Golestan Province: Gorgan
North Khorassan Province: Shirvan
Razavi Khorassan Province: Mashhad, Torbat-e Heydarieh, Torbat-e Jam
Semnan Province: Semnan
West Azerbaijan Province: Urmia, Mahabad, Shahindej
East Azerbaijan Province: Tabriz
Kurdistan Province: Sanandaj, Divandarreh, Saqqez, Marivan, Dehgolan, Qorveh, Zarrineh, Zaveh
Kermanshah Province: Kermanshah, Paveh, Tondgouyan, Kouzaran, Ravansar, Gilan-e Gharb, Javanrood, Mahidasht
Lorestan Province: Khorramabad, Aligoudarz, Pol-e Dokhtar
Kohgilouyeh and Boyerahmad Province: Yasuj
Hamedan Province: Hamedan
Qazvin Province: Qazvin
Zanjan Province: Zanjan, Abhar
Isfahan Province: Isfahan, Shahinshahr, Dolatabad, Samirom, Garmeh
Yazd Province: Yazd
Khuzestan Province: Ahvaz, Gatvand
Fars Province: Shiraz, Kazerun, Firouzabad
Kerman Province: Rafsanjan
Bushehr Province: Bushehr, Borazjan
Sistan-o Baluchistan Province: Iranshahr
Hormuzgan Province: Qeshm
Teachers’ salaries are about one-third of the poverty line. The majority of teachers who work on temporary contracts receive even lower wages which are one-fourth of the poverty line, presently standing at 5 million toumans. Nevertheless, such low wages are paid with months of delay.
Women teachers and educators have participated in at least 62 acts of protests between March and September 2018. Last year, they participated in at least 88 protests for the whole year.