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Minister Benmoussa clings to striking teachers’ salary deductions

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Minister of Education Chakib Benmoussa defended his controversial decision to deduct wages from striking teachers, saying that suspended teachers whose situation has not been resolved will be brought before disciplinary councils soon.

Benmoussa said in a written response to a question by the National Union of Workers in Morocco in the House of Councillors that “the decisions to deduct the wages of some teachers were made in accordance with the laws in force, especially the pay-for-work rule.”

“The ministry’s regional, provincial and central efforts are aimed at sustaining the public service of the educational facility and protecting the right to education, which is considered a constitutional right that cannot be compromised,” argued the official.

“The cases of absenteeism that led to the deduction of wages fall outside the cases stipulated in Article 39 of the Statute of the Public Service, which is considered a breach of job obligations; this requires the activation of the relevant requirements and procedures,” the minister explained.

Benmoussa noted that “the government adopted a flexible approach in dealing with the deductions, as it committed in December not to apply them for teachers who joined their work after the interim vacation.”

Regarding suspended teachers, Benmoussa said that “Regional committees were formed in the regional academies of education and training, which were tasked with studying each file individually and categorizing them according to the grievances registered against the concerned person.”

“The administrative and financial situation of many of them has been resolved, including the reinstatement of their salaries as of January 2024. The rest of the cases will be brought before disciplinary councils, which will be convened soon, to take appropriate measures against them.”

The government official concluded: “The actions and measures taken by the ministry’s departments are part of its responsibilities aimed at preserving educational time, guaranteeing the right to education for all students in public education institutions and addressing a number of practices that may lead to depriving students of their right to a continuous and solid education.”

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