The teachers say they are striking to force the government to provide fair and urgent solutions to their situation.
Rabat – Contractual teachers began a “six-day regional sit-in” across the country accompanied by a “national strike” on Monday.
The National Federation of Teachers (UMNT) expressed its solidarity with the teachers and denounced what they called “retaliatory actions against teachers who were forced to sign contracts.”
The UNMT called on the government and the Ministry of Education to provide fair and urgent solutions for contractual teachers to end growing tensions in the sector.
The federation has further called on all UNMT teachers to support the sit-ins. It also reiterated its condemnation of “the contractual employment, confronting protests with reprisals, and intimidation policy.”
UNMT is accusing the government of “discriminating between teachers” in Morocco by hiring some teachers through contractual employment with regional academies for a fixed term.
Unlike the permanent teachers employed as regular government employees, contractual teachers do not have access to health coverage and a pension fund. Although they receive the same salary, contractors are getting paid by the academies with whom they have contracted.
“All these kinds of extortion and tension will only make us more determined and persistent to achieve our goal of integration [into public sector employment] and terminate the contract program,” said the Moroccan National Coordination of Teachers Forced into Contractual Teaching (CNPCC) in a press release.
The protests started February 18-20, when hundreds of contractors took to the streets to denounce the government’s “disregard” for their needs, “poor” social dialogue negotiations, problems in education and healthcare, and the deterioration of their situation.
On February 20, contractual teachers led a protest march from the Parliament on Rabat’s Avenue Mohammed V to the Ministry of Education at Bab Rouah, which is also near the entrance to the Royal Palace of Rabat.
As the protesters came near the Royal Palace, security forces intervened, re-establishing order by firing water cannons at teachers they said were getting violent and injuring dozens.
The strikers say they want to be integrated into public sector employment and get medical care, pensions, and the same labor protections as permanent teachers.
Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi said on Thursday, February 21, after the weekly government meeting, that the government is keen to respond to the contractual teachers’ claims.