Sat, 03 Apr 2004

Teachers demand civil servant status

LHOKSEUMAWE, Aceh: About 2,000 temporary teachers gathered at the Lhokseumawe Council on Friday to demand that they be recruited as civil servants and their honorarium be raised.

The teachers, some of whom have been working for more than two decades as temporary teachers in the conflict-torn province, also demanded that special incentives be given to those assigned in remote and critical areas.

They said they received a monthly honorarium of Rp 250,000 without benefits.

Lhokseumawe deputy councilor Armia Ibrahim said the Council would discuss the teachers' plight with the local administration.

"We were also surprised to hear that some teachers have been working for 25 years, yet have not been recruited as civil servants," he said.

The government launched last year a massive military offensive against the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM), a secessionist group that has been fighting for independence for the resource- rich province since 1976. -- Antara