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Teachers' union to continue strike despite PA threats
Published Wednesday 04/12/2013 (updated) 04/12/2013 23:27
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(MaanImages/file)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The union of teachers said Wednesday that a general strike will continue, days after the High Court of Justice in Ramallah ruled that strike action by the union was illegal.

Bassam Naim told Ma'an that the union of teachers complied with the High Court decision and ended a partial strike.

The new steps, he said, demand a salary increase in line with the high cost of living "and not in opposition to the court decisions."

Members of the teachers' union summoned for questioning by PA forces have now been released, Naim added.

Teachers at the protest told Ma'an that PA prosecutors had issued summons orders for Muhammad al-Atawna, who died three months ago.

A PA prosecution official said summons orders were sent according to a list received from the PA Ministry of Education.

The PA warned late Tuesday that teachers who do not end their strike could be fired within 15 days, and all striking days will be taken from their salaries.

"These threats will not weaken the teachers' position, but rather render them more adamant to continue with their strike until all their demands are met," Naim said.

Earlier on Wednesday, dozens of teachers protested near the court in Ramallah against the arraignment of members of the teachers' union.

There were minor scuffles between PA police and protesters.

The crowd of teachers cheered as police officers called members of the union to enter the office of the general prosecution, with some calling for the resignation of the PA prime minister.

The Teacher's Union has held limited strikes over the last few weeks in protest over the Ministry of Education's failure to fully implement an agreement reached last September.

The Union organized regular strikes in the first half of 2013 to protest unpaid salaries. It demanded a regular promotion system, recognition of teaching as a profession, and adherence to the career ladder among other issues.
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