Agreement brings end to UNRWA employees strike

Amman, The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) employees strike was brought to an end after an agreement had been reached between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates and the UNRWA.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Ayman Safadi, and head of a committee to follow up on the demands of UNRWA workers’ unions, Riad Zayan, said in a joint press statement that an agreement had been reached, bringing an end to the strike that started this morning.

Safadi said at the press conference that the agreement took into account the legitimate demands of the workers and the financial situation of the agency and above all the interest of refugees and their rights “to live in dignity, education and health care coverage.”

Protecting UNRWA, which faces an existential challenge, is a priority in Jordan’s foreign policy, he explained.

Safadi pointed out that under the direct guidance and follow-up of His Majesty King Abdullah II, Jordan began early work to provide financial support to make up the deficit in the UNRWA’s budget and mobilize political support.

The foreign minister underscored the importance of UNRWA’s role in accordance with the mandate of the United Nations, saying that it is a “necessity that cannot be waived, and negotiations on the matter are not acceptable.”

Safadi explained that it was agreed to offer a JD 100 pay raise to the second to the eight-rank employees of UNRWA, to be added to the basic salary as of January 1, 2020.

The agreement also included granting JD 70 to all UNRWA staff from the ninth to the 20th rank, where the raise will also be added to the basic salary starting January 1, 2020, and includes the health sector and the microfinance sector.

Source: Jordan News Agency