Despite not being able to resolve the university administrative employee strike that will enter its 14th consecutive week on Monday, the Minister of Education Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos has the full support of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Meanwhile, the strikers at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens decided to extend their strike until Monday.
The university administrative employee assembly held at the University of Athens was defined by an air of tension and division, with the representatives of the majority faction in the union board being in favor of ending the strike and entering negotiations with the Ministry. On the other hand, employees in favor of continuing the strike argue that the Ministry is unreliable and that there is no guarantee that it intends to keep any of its promises.
The situation at the National Technical University of Athens appears to have been resolved, with negotiations with the Ministry set to start on Monday, after the administrative employees decided to end their strike. The NTUA administrative employees are expected to be at work on Monday, while six of the university’s 9 schools are currently operating as normal.
With the academic semester essentially wasted and the university administrative employees determined to support their claims, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education discussed the possibility of declaring the civil mobilization of the striking employees. This plan appears to have ultimately been rejected.
Meanwhile the Rector Synod announced on Thursday afternoon that it was pleased that teaching has resumed at NTUA and looks forward the NKUA also reopening, while supporting the efforts of its Rector. The Synod also called for the Ministry of Education to claim its responsibilities in order to defuse the situation.
The Synod noted that only dialog can result in a practical solution and condemned the Ministry’s decision to refer Rector Pelegrinis to the disciplinary council. The Synod adds that the Minister of Education jeopardized higher education, exacerbated the situation and created a climate of fear and persecution. Furthermore, the referral signifies the government’s failure to manage a self-created crisis from the implementation of a catastrophic suspension measure in the universities.