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Non-contract teachers demand equal benefits as contracted colleagues, including maternity leave

Non-contract teachers protest in Qaladze on October 27, 2021 (NRT Digital Media/Screenshot)
AM:10:57:27/10/2021

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SULAIMANI — Non-contract teachers continued their protests across the Kurdistan Region on Wednesday (October 27), demanding full contracts and equal pay and benefits to their colleagues who have full contracts.

A day after a major protest outside of the Kurdistan Parliament in Erbil, new demonstrations took place in Koya, Qaladze, and Penjwen.

Non-contract teachers from different parts of the Region have been protesting and striking since the beginning of the month.

The teachers reiterated their decision to continue their strike action until their demands are met.

The KRG instituted a number of austerity measures in response to a financial crisis that began in in 2014, including creating an employment status known as "non-contract,” where teachers are paid a lump sum per class and do not receive benefits.

Their pay is lower than teachers on full contracts or those with "on-bond” status despite doing the same jobs.

A teacher in Qaladze who has been teaching without a contract for six years told NRT that when a permanent teacher is available for a position held by a non-contract teacher, the latter is told to go home.

She said that the teachers also might lose their jobs because of a illness or pregnancy because they do not have the same rights of permanent teachers and are not given maternity leave.

A teacher in Penjwen said that the government is facing a shortfall of 21,000 teachers and questioned why it was not hiring them on fully to address that problem.

(NRT Digital Media)