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Hundreds protest PA appeal against teacher strike

Nov. 19, 2013 1:55 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 19, 2013 4:26 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hundreds of teachers protested outside the Palestinian Supreme Court on Tuesday after the PA appealed to the legal body to suspend strike action by the general union of teachers.

The Palestinian teachers' general union on Sunday launched a limited strike across the West Bank in protest against the Palestinian Authority's failure to implement previous agreements.

The PA appealed to the court on the grounds that the strike was in contravention of labor agreements with the union.

Hundreds of teachers protested outside of the Ramallah court Tuesday against the PA's demand to call off the strike.

A court hearing due for Tuesday was postponed until Wednesday.

Protesters called on the Palestinian judiciary to treat teachers fairly and and "turn down the fallacies and injustices against teachers mentioned in the government's claims yesterday," Ahmad Suhweil, secretary-general of the teachers' union, told Ma'an.

Suhweil told a press conference Monday that two items agreed and signed with the PA should have been implemented on Sept. 1 but have still not been addressed.

The PA also approved promotions for 6,000 teachers but without counting their years of service, he added.

The teachers' union last threatened to strike in September, but called off the plans following an agreement with the PA.

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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