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PA supreme court rules in favor of teacher strike

Nov. 21, 2013 2:21 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 22, 2013 5:32 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a strike carried out by the general union of teachers is legal, after the Palestinian Authority appealed to the legal body to suspend the protest action.

The court informed the PA of its decision early Thursday after the public prosecution of the Palestinian Authority filed a lawsuit against the teacher's union, including the general secretariat of the union and other branches, claiming it violated agreements made with the PA.

The court ruled that the strike action was legal according to union laws.

The teacher's union said it was "delighted" with the decision, with secretary-general Ahmed Sahwil promising that teachers and workers in the education ministry will "achieve all our legitimate rights, and impose them on the government."

The PA is trying to put teachers "in the dock," he added, saying that the court's decision was a blow to those "who stand in the way of teachers and workers in the education field."

Minister of education Ali Muhana said that the PA respects the court's decision but will file a lawsuit against the teacher's union if they announce strike action.

He called on the unions to abide by the last agreement made with the PA.

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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