Teachers List New Demands

High school and university teachers remaining on strike have drawn up a new list of demands to present to Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng on Friday, a teacher representative said Monday.

Teacher spokesman Ly Phat­sen said representatives from the Phnom Penh high schools of Yukhonthor, Endra­devi, Santhor Mok, Boeung Trabak and Bak­tuk will attend the meeting, along with teachers from the Royal University of Phnom Penh and several high schools in the provinces.

All those schools currently remain on strike, he said.

Striking teachers are now asking to be allowed to do eight hours of research per week paid at $2.30 per hour. They want a reduction in teaching hours from 12 hours a week to as few as six per week.

The proposal also calls for teachers to be paid for preparation time outside of class. They are also asking for the 20,000-riel (about $5) bonus granted to them last month to be higher—although the proposal does not state how high it should be—and for professors to be paid if they teach at other institutions, Ly Phatsem said.

Bun Sok, the undersecretary of state for education, said he had no comment on the proposals because they had not yet been received by the Ministry of Education.

The teacher strike began Jan 25 after the government refused to meet the teachers’ demand to raise salaries from about $20 to $315 a month, a more than 1,500 percent increase. That demand has now been dropped.

The Council of Ministers offered a $5 monthly “bonus” to teachers nationwide on Jan 15 after threats of strikes.

It is unclear how many teachers remain on strike. Teachers in at least 12 provinces were on strike at some point in the past three weeks, according to reports gathered by local rights group, Licadho.

Some teachers started returning to work last week but complained that they only did so because they had been threatened with being fired.




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