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Jenin teachers hold sit-in, resign from union

Dec. 16, 2012 11:27 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 18, 2012 5:17 P.M.)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- Amid planned strike action by teachers in the West Bank this week, Jenin's teachers union was in chaos on Sunday after five board members resigned claiming the body had stopped representing their demands.

On Sunday morning, 700 teachers protest in front of the directorate of education in the northern West Bank city, demanding their salaries be paid.

In nearby Qabatiya village, teachers announced a full strike and suspended all classes.

Ahmad Yassen, a member in the administrative board who resigned, said all Jenin teachers would go on strike on Monday and hold a mass sit-in at the Jenin governorate office.

Yassen called on the Palestinian Authority to set a date for the payment of salaries, and to improve benefits for teachers. Around 90 percent of teachers in the West Bank are under the poverty line, he said.

"What happened to the taxes we paid?" Haithan Ibadi, a teacher from Jenin, said.

Another, Ajwad Odah, said that he works as a teacher in two schools, and he still does not have a penny to get transport to work.

The teachers union on Saturday announced partial strike action across the West Bank on Wednesday and Thursday, with all teachers stopping work after the fourth class of the day.

If teachers' salaries are paid before Wednesday the strike action will be canceled, a union leader said.
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