The Iraqi Teachers Union (ITU) celebrates the National Teachers Day in Baghdad. Please see photos of celebrations. The President of the ITU brother Mohsen Ali led the celebration in central Baghdad with call to the Iraqi state to improve the living and working conditions of teachers across Iraq. Please see photos.
In a television interview ( please click on the avove link to see interview) early this week, about the situation of education in Iraq, the Deputy Minister of Education attacked the Iraqi Teachers Union (ITU) and insulted its members by calling them donkeys.
The ITU reacted angrily at the deputy minister rude comments and called for a national meeting on 1 March 2011 at the union head office and issued the attached statement in Arabic. The ITU mobilized his branches to start national campaign if the deputy minister refuse to resign. The ITU statement called for the immediate removal of the Deputy Minister from his post. The ITU also called on the Iraqi legal authority to question him over the insult he committed against teachers. The ITU demanded that deputy Minister must issue a public apology to all teachers
The ITU branches across Iraq in unison with the national office of the ITU have sent letters of condemnation to the deputy minister comments with copies to the minister of education.
Mr Al Ibrahim, the deputy minister of education held a press conference yesterday 2 March 20-11 and announced that he has submitted a written resignation to the Minister of Education.
The Iraqi Prime Minister has called for the deputy minister to resign.
The NASUWT General Secretary Chris Keates sent a solidarity message to the new head of the Iraqi teachers union who survived assassination attempt. For more information please see the union Spring publication.
The Head of the ITU in Kirkuk brother Hassan al Jubouri, strongly criticized the Directorate of Education’s decision to prevent teachers picketing, which they planned to hold to demands better working and living conditions. The head of the Directorate of Education said that his department had prevented the sit-in because it is unnecessary giving that the ministry of education is serious about resolving teachers’ wages and working conditions.
Brother al Jubouri told al »Sabah» newspaper that schools across Kirkuk are panning to go ahead with the protest despite the Directorate of Education ban, noting that the protest will be held within schools and for sure will not disrupt the working hours. The sit-in is aimed for a half-hour. Teachers will hold banners and posters.
The ITU head in Kirkuk stressed that the protest came as a result of the national action being organized by the central office of the ITU to demand greater teachers’ rights and for better wages. However, Shan Omar the Director General of Education in Kirkuk said the ITU sit-in in Kirkuk is unnecessary because the Ministry of Education is serious about solving teachers’ problem adding that his ministry is already cooperating with the Ministry of Finance over this issue.
It is worth to note here that the Ministry of Education has promised before to resolve this issue but has done little.
With shadowy political figures trying to hijack their union, a chronic lack of teaching resources and continued death threats, teachers in Iraq are under enormous strain, as a recent delegation to the UK told the TUC.
As Nasser al Hussain, executive member of the Iraqi Teachers Union (ITU) explains: ‘Key forces within the government are using a law inherited from Saddam’s era to try to control and split trade unions. For more information please click: Here
Iraq: EI protests against the continued harassment of union leaders
EI is very concerned about the continuous governmental interference the Iraqi Teachers’ Union (ITU) is experiencing. The ITU, an organisation currently applying for EI membership, continues to face extreme attacks from the Iraqi government which wants to control the union.
The Global Union Federation representing more than 30 millions educators and education workers worldwide has been recently informed that Ibrahim al-Battat, leader of the ITU has been arrested and an arrest warrant issued for Jasim Hussein Mohammed, the national leader of ITU.
Iraqi teacher unionist al-Battat was arrested and then released on 22 February after an eight-day detention period. He was involved in strike actions, and his home came under fire after he refused to hand over the union memberships lists. The first information received by EI was very alarming, referring as it did to al-Battat’s death.
In a protest letter to the Iraqi Prime Minister Jawad Al-Maliki dated 25 February, EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen said: “We are very concerned that trade unionists continue to be harassed in Iraq. The lack of respect for fundamental trade union rights and the interference in trade union affairs by political parties supported by the authorities is a threat to the entire development of the labour movement in Iraq.”
EI reasserts its support for autonomous and independent trade unions in Iraq and elsewhere, free of political and state interference. EI calls on the Iraqi authorities to stop this repression of the independence of the ITU and its leaders, and urges them to respect international labour norms.
[2010-02-26] 11:41:50 | DIGG THIS
Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the UK Trades Union Congress, has written to UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband to press him to intervene with his counterparts in the Iraqi Government to reverse the threats of arrest against leaders of the ITU, and the undemocratic interference in that union. Read the full letter here: Barber to Miliband 24 Feb 2010.
Dave Prentis, General Secretary of the UK public sector workers’ union UNISON, has written to the Iraqi Ambassador to the UK, protesting the recent government interference in the internal democracy of the ITU. You can find out more here.