AMMAN: The longest strike in Jordan’s history ended on Saturday after the government offered teachers a pay rise and an apology for how they had been treated.
The deal emerged late on Saturday night after all-day talks in Amman between a government delegation and teachers’ union representatives. It allows for a 35 percent salary increase and a 5 percent increase in teachers’ health insurance.
Optimism had grown all day following a series of apparently synchronized positive statements that laid the groundwork for a return to classes.
The teachers suspended their month-long strike on Thursday after a court order, followed by an apology on Saturday morning by Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, which was accepted by union spokesman Nour Al-Deen Nadeem.
Jumana Ghneimat, the minister of media affairs, said the government had done its utmost to find a solution to “end the strike so that teachers can return to their classrooms and fulfill their educational mission.”
In his apology for the police’s treatment of the striking teachers at a protest last month, Razzaz said: “We stress again that the dignity of the teacher reflects our own dignity and we will not accept any attempt to chip away the teachers’ respect.
“The government is sorry for anything that disparaged the teachers’ integrity and we commit to continue investigating the incidents. We await the results of the investigation by the National Center for Human Rights so we can take the appropriate actions.”