September 6, 2021
Hundreds of teachers in Iran gathered on Sunday outside the parliament and the budget and planning building to protest the cancellation of a pay increase by the new government.
The former Rouhani administration had agreed to longtime grievances by teachers to give them some pay increase amid an annual 45 percent inflation rate and address some of their other grievances, but the new Raisi government has stopped its implementation.
Masoud Mirkazemi the new head of the Budget and Planning Organization said that the government simply cannot afford to increase salaries and criticized the previous administration for making such a pledge to teachers.
They chanted during the protest on Sunday that their monthly salaries are around $120, while the minimum income needed to avoid poverty is $400, a figure that labor representatives have confirmed in recent weeks demanding that all workers should receive at least that amount.
The protesting teachers were chanting, “With Masters and PhD, we are paid a small salary”.
Iran’s currency has fallen ninefold since 2017, while salaries have not kept pace with the ensuing inflation. Government officials have admitted that up to 60 percent of Iranian have fallen under the ‘poverty line’ and cannot afford many food items.