University staffers block entrance to four institutions

University administrators protesting their induction into a labor mobility scheme that will see them either transferred to other services or losing their jobs have blocked the entrance to the University of Athens campus on Olof Palme Street, the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) on Katechaki Avenue, the Athens Law School on Massalias and the Athens Medical School on Mikras Asias since 7 a.m. on Tuesday.

Staff at Athens University and the NTUA entered their 11th week of strikes on Monday after refusing to respond to calls from the Education Ministry for them to get back to work so that some 55,000 students do not miss the first semester of the academic year.

Late on Monday, Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos issued a terse statement saying that unless staff end their strike they face legal action.

“The Ministry of Education will again take recourse to justice in order to ensure the implementation of the law, and it calls on professors and students to come to class,” Arvanitopoulos said on Monday.

“Those inside and outside the universities who want the two institutions that remain closed to become a battlefield will be taking on the Greek people. No one has the right to toy with the futures of the students and with the sacrifices made by their families,” the education minister added.

The situation was particularly tense at Athens University on Monday night after all members of the institution’s senate resigned, protesting the prospect of police entering the faculty grounds in coming days and at the publication of the names of the administrative staff who have been inducted into a mobility scheme of transfers and layoffs.

The government is expected to give striking workers until Wednesday to stop their action before intervening.

Students have also appealed for the universities to reopen for fear of losing the semester.

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