A striking civil servant in Sulaimani protests inequality earlier this week. Photo: Sartip Othman/Rudaw
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A smaller but determined group of roughly 200 civil servants continued protesting in front of Sulaimani’s court on Friday, despite the KRG’s decision to ease salary cuts.
“The only thing that could end our protest is the removal of the salary-saving system,” Dilshad Babani, one of the protest organizers, told Rudaw.
Approximately one month remains of the school year, but most of the schools in Sulaimani are closed now.
Babani said that “all the responsibility falls on the government,” adding that teachers have never wanted students to have their education impacted.
This past week saw a wave of large protests across the Kurdistan Region, as civil servants led by teachers and health workers demanded the abolishment of the government’s unpopular austerity measures that have seen wages in the public sector slashed.
KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani announced revisions to the system on Wednesday, saying low-earners would receive their full salaries and deductions from higher earners would be reduced.
The move largely ended protests in Erbil and Duhok provinces and reduced protests in Sulaimani and Halabja provinces.
Civil servants, who have struggled for about two years under the austerity measures, have established councils and committees in their regions as they pressured the KRG to make meet their demands after Baghdad sent funds to Erbil for the salaries.