Kirkuk; Kurdish teachers attempt to transfer paycheck from Kurdistan Regional Government to federal government

Kirkuk, Kurdish teachers in Kirkuk protest against the delay of the distribution of their salaries, May 17, 2020. Photo: Soran Mohammed

Soran Mohammed- Kirkuk

Two group of teachers are separately attempting to transfer the paycheck of the Kurdish teachers of Kirkuk province from the ministry of education of the Kurdistan Regional Government to the same ministry of the federal government.

The attempts are made by Hawlist group, led by the members of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Independent Teachers Group (ITG), without any cooperation between them.

The two groups aim at transferring the paycheck of eight thousand teachers of the Kurdish education directorate in Kirkuk to the federal government as they have been paid only twice in 2020 by the KRG.

Kadhim Ali, a member of the ITG, told KirkukNow that, “we are the real representatives of the Kurdish teachers and we are not partisan, we are preparing to take significant steps to transfer our paycheck to Baghdad [federal government].” Ali did not mention what steps they are going to take.

The ITG showed their willingness to cooperate with any other group only if they have the same aim.

Yesterday, June 15, Hawlest group, whose members are predominantly teachers affiliated with the PUK, met for the same purpose.

“Hawlest group is partisan and is directed by the PUK in order to weaken our efforts. We aim to transfer our paycheck to Baghdad, but the party of Hawlest group is blocking the transfer of the paycheck.”

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Kirkuk, a Kurdish graduate burns her degree as she has not been employed, January 23, 2020. Photo: Soran Mohammed. 

Contrary to what Ali said, Mohammed Jalil, who is a member of Halwest group, said that, “our meeting was aimed at setting up mechanism and discussing the ways to transfer the paycheck of the Kurdish teachers to federal government.”

“We have made many attempts to do that, but the barriers are a lot… the KRG is blocking our attempts.”

Despite the delay of their salaries by the KRG, the Kurdish teachers claim that they are serving Kirkuk and “based on all the criteria, Kirkuk is dealt with as an Iraqi province [administrated by the federal government], so there should be attempts to transfer our paycheck to the federal government.”

Eight thousand teachers and employees of the Kurdish education employed by the KRG; however, due to the delay of the distribution of their salaries by the KRG, they have asked for the transfer of their paycheck to the federal government more than once, but the Iraqi government rejected it.

The Kurdish education has been offered in the disputed areas after the removal of the former Baath regime in 2003, which banned it for several decades.

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