Is there any comment about the UNRWA workers' strike reported in Ma'an? http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php?opr=ShowDetails&ID=35542Chris Gunness replied that he was much too busy to reply, but this morning I received an answer from Sami Mshasha, denying any strike:
Which workers are striking? How is it affecting UNRWA services? How many are on strike? What is the minimum and average salaries for UNRWA workers in the West Bank?
1- Who are striking? No one.I'm not sure if the 5000 workers are for all of UNRWA or just the West Bank.
The UNRWA West Bank Staff Union issued a circular last week calling for ‘protest activities’ to protest:
a-UNRWA not wanting to move its field operations work week from a six-days into a five-days work week. The Union believes that this is possible and would not affect services. UNRWA—and large segments of the population benefiting from UNRWA services—thing otherwise.
B- Increase in salary to correspond to cost of living increases and
c- compensating losses in the staff’s provident fund (retirement fund).
2- So far direct assistance to the refugees are not being affected. If and when the Union decides to go on strike, education, health and social services stand to be affected.
3- UNRWA employs some 5,000 staff members. Almost all of them are union members.
4- UNRWA’s salary scale is set on a scale of 1 to 20— Grade one being the lowest and grade 20 the highest (for nationally recruited staff).
Salary for grade one (average): Jordanian Dinar (JD): 370
Grade 20: JD1200.
Average salary: JD530.
A Jordanian dinar is worth about $1.41, so this means that the union employees average $9000 a year. Management, however, seems to make over ten times that amount.