Court deems university staff strike illegal

An Athens court on Friday ruled illegal a protracted strike by administrative staff at Athens University which has put students at risk of losing their first semester of the academic year.

The ruling by the Athens Court of First Instance came just a few hours after the employees said they would press on with their action, which is to enter its 10th week.

They are expected to make a decision on whether they will continue with their action when they meet again on Monday.

The staff, who have been backed by academics, are protesting a government plan to put hundreds of employees into a so-called mobility scheme of forced transfers and layoffs.

Professors who had supported administrative staff at the National Technical University of Athens called off their action earlier this week and are preparing to start lessons again from Monday.

Friday’s court decision followed an appeal against the protracted action lodged by Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos. The minister had accused the protesters of harming the public good by threatening to sabotage the prospects of hundreds of students.

The employees, for their part, had argued that the induction of hundreds of administrative staff into the mobility scheme would leave the university too understaffed to function.

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