Teachers in the Kurdistan region of Iraq have gone on strike along with other civil servants over the government's failure to pay them. Their strike started on Sunday and they say they will not go back to school until they receive their salaries.

The government says that the region is suffering from a drop in the price of oil and the cost of the war against ISIL forces but protesters point out that the Kurdistan government is selling oil and yet still they do not pay the salaries of public servants. As is so often the case, teachers and other public servants are expected to make up the purported budget shortfall - in this case by receiveing no money for three months. The teachers are also coping with a huge influx of 1.8 million refugees from the war in Syria and from other parts of Iraq.

There were demonstrations in many cities in the region. One teacher told reporters: 'We will continue until the government says something about our salaries. We, as teachers and [government] employees, have only this way to ask for our rights, but officials don’t understand the peoples’ needs.' Another said, 'It's not about our salaries, it's about justice and equality.' 

As western and other governments continue to fight their proxy wars in the region, and global traders bet on the price of oil, it is the people, public servants and teachers who are paying the price.