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Iran braces for more general strikes as budget negotiations in sight

The recent string of strikes in Iran appeared geared to extract more concessions ahead of budget negotiations.
Iranian shop closed at the ancient Grand Bazaar in Tehran on June 25, 2018. - Grand Bazaar shop owners closed their shops on monday in a rare strike movement to protest against the depreciation of the Iranian currency. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

Only one month into the new school year, teachers in Iran have once again staged mass collective action. Rallies were held on two days, beginning on Oct. 5 — designated as World Teachers’ Day by UNESCO — when teachers demonstrated in front of the local offices of the Education Ministry across the country. Their demands include higher pay, improved pensions and health insurance, and more government support for the private sector.

Less than two weeks later, on Oct. 14, local and national teachers’ unions, under the umbrella organization called the Coordinating Council of Teachers Syndicates, decided to up the pressure. Widely shared on social media, this time teachers went to school but refrained from teaching, holding sit-ins and explaining their plight to children instead. Although it is hard to gauge total participation in the strike, many schools appeared to have been affected.

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