In June 2014, more than 100 activists, students, and intellectuals signed a collective labor complaint in Amman against low salaries. The protest came at a time of declining public sector salaries as the result of continued austerity measures and the same fiscal crisis that has hit the country’s private sector. Since then, Amman’s public sector has been on an indefinite strike, while market vendors and small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) have staged several street protests for better pay. The public sector has also been severely lacking in government staff and equipment despite an increase of US$5,000 a year in its salary compared to 2010 and 2011, when the then-commander of the armed forces and the Parliamentary Speaker, Gen. Abdul Hamid Al-Zahrani and Gen. Jamil M. Al-Hubail, respectively, have introduced a JOD 1,000 salary increase for district public sector employees. Meanwhile, many government sectors, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Civil Service, have not received a salary increase since 2011.
Since 2012, the municipality of Amman has relinquished its in-house printing and vending machines, while private subcontractors are now responsible for producing the majority of municipal documents. However, as a result, prices have soared and the quality of the documents has also declined. The Ministry of Tourism proudly published a booklet promoting Jordan as the ideal travel destination for 2014. But the glossy 50-page booklet, distributed free of charge to journalists, included a lengthy advertisement for spas and health centers paid for by the tourism ministry. In late June 2014, Amman's municipal council resumed the printing of municipal documents. However, only councils from the capital Amman receive printing subsidies, while smaller districts such as Irbid--on the city's outskirts--must bear the costs of printing documents on their own. While the ministry’s printing division itself was reduced from 131 to 75 staff members on November, 2013, the newly instituted Amman Municipal Council printing division has yet to employ any new staff and remains essentially the same as before. d2c66b5586