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Teachers, Education Ministry still disagreeing over civil service by-law

By Laila Azzeh - Jul 13,2015 - Last updated at Jul 13,2015

 

AMMAN — Differences between the teachers syndicate and the Education Ministry over the controversial civil service by-law have resurfaced, with the government rejecting a "crucial" demand by educators.

After sitting at the discussion table for a new round of negotiations over the by-law, the two sides failed to reach agreement over a "main" issue: counting the secondment and leave without pay duration when the retirement period of the concerned employee is calculated, according to the Jordan Teachers Association (JTA).

Under the Civil Service Law, government employees can be sent on secondment to another country for a number of years, during which they retain their rights as government employees in the Kingdom.

"Secondment is limited to three years for teachers and now the government does not want to count them among the years of service," JTA Spokesperson Ayman Okour told The Jordan Times on Sunday.

He added that the JTA also calls for those on secondment to be entitled to promotions and salary raises during their absence.

"The ministry rejected our demands on the pretext that the issue is related to all state employees and not only teachers," Okour said.

The Education Ministry has said in earlier remarks to the press that the JTA demands are "expensive" and "unrealistic".

However, the association noted that counting the secondment duration for teachers among their years of service is a right and is applied in several Arab countries.

"Secondment gives teachers the opportunity to widen their horizons by experiencing new educational systems in other countries and coming back to Jordan with new perspectives," noted Okour.

The JTA also called on the ministry to transform secondment into leave without pay if the teacher finds a work opportunity abroad.

"The current secondment and unpaid leave policies have forced tens of thousands of teachers to resign, incurring hundreds of millions of dinars in losses to Jordan," the JTA spokesperson said.

Educators organised several sit-ins and strikes last year in protest against the civil service by-law, demanding changes in sick leave, promotions and leave without pay.

 

The JTA and the ministry reached a compromise, after a two-week strike that crippled public schools, to discuss teachers' demands.

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