Sources in the Jordanian Teachers Syndicate told Al-Jazeera that the security forces arrested yesterday 27 teachers and members of the union, raising the number of detainees in the background of the crisis with the government to 51 detainees, including the leaders of the union’s council.
Yesterday, demonstrations in which teachers and citizens participated took place in several governorates, calling on the government to rescind its decisions to suspend the union for two years, and to immediately release the union's detainees.
The cities of Mafraq in the east and Sakib in Jerash in the north, and Madaba near the capital Amman, Maan and Aqaba in the south witnessed marches that also called for the release of the vice president and members of the union council who were arrested for about a week, and drop the charges against them before the start of the new school year.
The Amman Attorney-General, Hassan Al-Abdallat, issued a judicial decision last week "to stop the hands of the members of the Teachers Union Council and members of the central and branch bodies and departments, and to suspend the union from working and close its headquarters for a period of two years" due to what he said were financial transgressions and inciting measures pending before the Public Prosecution.
The roots of the crisis
And the crisis between the government and the teachers union goes back to more than a year, after the latter organized a strike last year that lasted for a month, demanding financial bonuses, and it was agreed between the two parties to give the teachers the financial allowance at the beginning of this year in exchange for breaking the strike and the return of teachers and students to schools.
With the beginning of the year, the agreement was implemented by granting teachers financial allowances, each according to his service, work reports, and accomplishment, and government and military sector employees were granted similar financial allowances.
With the outbreak of Corona in mid-March, the government decided to stop the financial bonuses granted to public sector employees, including teachers, in a government austerity campaign to address the repercussions of the spread of the virus in the Kingdom.
The Teachers' Union considered the government's decisions as a violation of the agreement signed between them, and threatened to take escalatory measures in exchange for the recovery of bonuses, including entering a new strike on the job in the beginning of the school year in September, boycotting the participation in the parliamentary elections expected to take place before the end of the year, and other escalatory measures.