TS interviewed the leader of the independent teachers union (ISTT)

TS:    What is the situation for public school teachers in Egypt under the present government?

ISTT: The situation is deteriorating. There is more privatisation in education and teachers' labour rights will soon be even worse than they are now. As a result of a new civil servants law which was enacted three months ago, labour rights have been attacked meaning that administrations will be able to hire and fire
        teachers at will. At the same time, there was a pay rise for all public servants except teachers – the reason was
        that there are too many teachers! Since 2013, we have not had a pay rise. What
        makes it worse is that about 40% of  teachers are on temporary contracts.

TS:   So has the situation deteriorated since the revolution at the beginning of 2011?

ISTT: Yes, after the revolution we had rights for the first time. Now there is a real attack
        on the independent trade union movement. The Sisi government chose some leaders
        of the movement to sit in government – for instance the chair of the independent
        union federation is now a minister. As a result many workers have lost trust in the
        leaderships. Teachers' unions must have the right to organise freely, they must stop
        threatening the ISTT.

TS:   What form do such threats take?

ISTT: The state does its best to encourage internal conflicts. It has security representatives
        in all schools, it was the same under Morsi – and they're in the union – this weakens
        the movement.

TS:   What is the mood amongst the people now to the current situation?

ISTT: People are more and more frustrated. They lack trust in their ability to make changes.
        Since Sisi took power after the uprising in 2014, there has not even been a
        parliament. But people are also afraid of ISIS. I can only hope for democracy
        by the end of the year.