Self-styled “Cell 9 teachers” are calling for another week-long strike for the third consecutive week, demanding “immediate promotion.”
Rabat – After contractual teachers returned to work to avoid a blank year, the National Coordination of public sector teachers who call themselves “Cell 9 Teachers” stated in their latest press release that they are extending their protests for a third consecutive week.
Cell 9 teachers, a reference to the 9th scale of Morocco’s salary structure corresponding to MAD 4,000 ($400), are leading stage a strike from May 6-11 in Rabat in protest of the government’s “false promises and politics of procrastination” in dealing with their crisis.
After several strikes with contractual teachers, Cell 9 teachers, made up of 4700 people according to Minister of Education Said Amzazi, are calling for an “immediate promotion.” The group is also demanding a retroactive pay corresponding to the 10th salary scale that covers all previous years since 2012.
They also denounce the government’s resort to discharging protesting teachers under the pretext of job abandonment, and threaten to indefinitely extend their strikes until their demands are met.
Amzazi noted in a parliamentary session in December 2018 that the issue of Cell 9 teachers is on the education ministry’s list of priorities.
The coordination called the government out on the “intimidating” and “repressive” measures it took against Cell 9 teachers in their “peaceful and civilized” struggle for their rights.
The statement recalled the last incident when police used violence to “arbitrarily arrest” and disperse them, leaving several teachers wounded on Labor Day, May 1.
Moroccan public education has witnessed turbulence since February 20, when contractual teachers took to the streets in several Moroccan cities, especially in Rabat, to stage weeks-long strikes protesting against poor working conditions.
While teachers recently agreed to resume work to salvage the academic year, the education system is still facing considerable pressure. Teachers are now threatening to go back to the streets should the next meeting between the ministry and teachers’ representatives come to a standstill.