Thousands of teachers in C. Java on strike, leaving schools 'paralyzed'
Ganug Nugroho Adi
The Jakarta Post
Approximately 6,000 contract-based teachers in Wonogiri, Central Java, have staged a strike, effectively halting daily activities at several kindergartens, elementary and high schools in the region on Tuesday.
The teachers, grouped under the Contract Teacher Defenders Front (FPHI), protested the government’s refusal to grant them civil servant status, even after they had failed to pass the recruitment process for candidate civil servants (CPNSs) and contract-based government employees (PPPKs).
“We demand that the central government grant the teachers the CPNS status without having to undergo the general CPNS recruitment process,” said the head of the Wonogiri contract teachers forum, Sunthi Sari, in front of the Wonogiri Education Agency building.
She said around 90 elementary schools in the region were paralyzed by the strike, because the majority of teachers were not civil servants.
“We sincerely apologize. We had to make a tough decision to make the government listen to what we have to say,” Sunthi said.
Meanwhile, Wonogiri School Principal Forum head Mahmud Yunus said around 78 senior and junior high schools were still operating since most of their teachers were civil servants who did not participate in the strike.
Wonogiri Education Agency head Siswanto said he bemoaned the protest because the absence of teachers had halted activities in several schools.
“We have instructed the remaining civil servant teachers to merge classes together. Whatever it takes to resume daily activities at schools,” he said.
Previously, Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko said the government would improve the general welfare of the contract-based teachers by raising their salaries.
“Teachers who failed the CPNS recruitment or the PPPK recruitment will receive a salary raise,” Moeldoko said on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.
However, he said he was unable to disclose the exact number for the raise, since it was still being calculated by the Finance Ministry and the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry. (rfa)
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