Monday, November 02, 2009

UNRWA workers in Gaza on strike

Palestine Press Agency is reporting that UNRWA workers in Gaza are striking for higher salaries. A letter from John Ging, director of UNRWA operations, to the strikers is reproduced there.

Ging expresses sadness that services to Gazans are being disrupted by the strike.

Among other things, he claims that UNRWA workers get paid far more than their Palestinian Authority counterparts doing similar jobs. For example, UNRWA teachers with 20 years experience get 30% more than similar PA teachers, a school deputy directors get nearly double the salaries of PA workers doing the same thing.

If I am reading it correctly, Ging is also saying that UNRWA workers in Gaza can get up to $200,000 in a retirement fund.

Interestingly, Ging says that he understands their concerns, but mentions that between the global economic crisis and the fact that Arab countries have not fulfilled their pledges to UNRWA, he cannot address all of their concerns.

I emailed UNRWA (a different person than Chris Gunness, who seems to not be answering emails) to clarify these facts and to follow up on my earlier questions about the reported murder of a UNRWA teacher.