Iraq: Teachers’ salary cuts limited

published 28 May 2018 updated 4 March 2022

Kurdistan’s education trade union was successful in easing drastic salary cuts planned for teachers.

Salaries have fallen in the Iraqi state of Kurdistan since 2014, as the region was hit with ISIS terror, the migration of over 1.8 million people, falling oil prices and difficulties between the Iraqi central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), according to the Kurdistan Teachers’ Union (KTU).

In January 2016, the worsening economic situation led the KRG to decrease salaries by between 25-75 per cent as a way to cut public expenditure.

This decision led to demonstration and strikes. The KTU led a protest campaign and demonstration, forcing the government to reduce the salary cuts to 10-30 per cent of a worker’s overall salary. Thus, under the old system, a teacher whose salary was $1,600 would have received only $500; under this new system, the teacher will receive $1,200.

“This is a satisfactory resolution and suitable at this stage,” said KTU President Abdalwahed M. Haje. “We, as the KTU, approve this step, but the KTU will work towards having salaries returned to their 2014 rates,” he said.