Feb 07, 2019 07:42 Asia/Tehran

Thousands of Tunisian teachers rallied on Wednesday near the prime minister's office to demand better work conditions and higher wages.

Iran Press/Africa: In al-Kasbah Square in central Tunis, the teachers chanted: "We want our rights" and "This is a pen revolution".

According to Reuters, the National Parents' Association has called for a big demonstration this week to protest against the plight of their children, saying they have become hostages in the dispute between the teachers' union and the government.

The teachers' union has asked for salary increases and a reduction in the retirement age.

The government is also in negotiations with the powerful public sector union UGTT, which has threatened to hold a two-day nationwide strike this month if the government does not accept wage increases for about 670,000 workers.

Tunisian teachers protest for better work conditions in Tunis, February 6, 2019/ REUTERS

The UGTT, Tunisia's biggest union, shut schools, universities, ministries, and municipalities across Tunisia last month in a similar nationwide strike.

The political turmoil and a lack of reforms have deterred investment sorely needed to create jobs, forcing the government to implement austerity measures in return for loans totaling about $2.8 billion from the International Monetary Fund. 101/210

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