TEHRAN: Thousands of Iranian teachers have protested in more than 100 cities against delays in salary and pension reforms, a local newspaper reported Sunday.
The demonstrations on Saturday were the latest in a string of rallies by teachers as well as other public sector employees in recent months over the impact of soaring inflation on incomes.
Reformist newspaper Etemad said teachers demonstrated outside parliament in the capital Tehran and in front of education ministry offices in provincial capitals including Isfahan, Shiraz and Mashhad.
The teachers have for months demanded that the government speed up the implementation of reforms that would see their salaries better reflect their experience and performance.
Last week, Iran's parliament said the new system, which has been delayed for more than a decade, will be implemented from the start of the new Iranian calendar year, which begins on March 21.
The demonstrators have also demanded that their pensions be aligned with those of other public sector employees.
Protesters moreover called on the authorities to release teachers detained in earlier protests.
The educators chanted "The jailed teachers should be freed" and "From Tehran to Khorasan, teachers are in prison", during the protests on Saturday, according to the newspaper.
Protesters said 15 teachers were arrested during clashes with security forces across the country, according to Etemad.
Hit by biting economic sanctions imposed since 2018 by the United States, Iran has seen inflation soar to over 40 percent, exacting a heavy toll on the standard of living of public sector staff and others on fixed incomes.
Civil servants in one of Iran's most powerful sectors, the judiciary, held rare demonstrations in January calling for their pay to be increased.