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Thursday, February 05, 2009

UNRWA workers go on strike in West Bank

Ma'an reports:
Workers employed by the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees went on strike accross the West Bank on Thursday, demanding higher pay.

Striking UNRWA workers held demonstrations in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus, and Jericho on Thursday to highlight their demands.

At the UN Teachers’ College in Ramallah, union head Shaker Ar-Resheq said, “This demonstration is in protest of the rejection of our demands by the UN administration.”

Ar-Resheq said UN workers are demanding a pay increase to reflect rising prices, and two days off a week, similar to PA employees and UN workers in other countries.
I had recently looked at UNRWA job postings, and came up with these:

For a treasurer, January 2008, in Amman:

UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including annual salary starting at $67,709 net tax free with dependants or $63,052 single, plus 48.3%, post adjustment (subject to change). Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include education grant, dependency allowance, home leave, pension fund, health insurance and 6 weeks annual leave.
After the post-adjustment the salary is over $100K.

For Director of UNRWA Operations in West Bank, 2007:
UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including gross annual salary starting at $126,565 ($94,564 net tax free with dependants, $87,407 single) plus 37.1% (subject to change) of post adjustment.) Other fringe benefits could include mobility and hardship allowance, education grant, dependency allowance, home leave, pension fund, health insurance and 6 weeks annual leave.
Deputy spokesperson, May 2008:
UNRWA offers an attractive compensation package including annual salary starting at USD 106,907 (net tax free $81,197 with dependants or USD 75,432 single) plus 47.6% post adjustment (subject to change). Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include education grant, dependency allowance, home leave, pension fund, health insurance and 6 weeks of annual leave.
To be fair, however, UNRWA grunt employees look like they are paid about the same as similar workers in the areas they are employed. Jordanian UNRWA teachers get about $8500 annually.