University impasse continues as staff persist with strike
Administrative staff of Athens University protesting the government’s overhaul of the civil service are to enter their 12th week of strike action on Monday as efforts by Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos to break a deadlock that have left thousands of students in limbo continued.
Arvanitopoulos met with the rector of Athens University, Theodosis Pelegrinis, twice over the weekend in a bid to reach a compromise and enable the institution to reopen so that lessons and examinations can resume.
The minister also met individually with the rectors of the other seven universities affected by a so-called mobility scheme involving forced transfers and layoffs for administrative staff.
The senate of the University of Ioannina, which is one of the eight universities whose administrative staff are being put into the scheme, on Saturday decided to stop its operation as of Monday in protest at the ministry’s policies which, it claimed, will lead to “absolute organizational upheaval.”
Arvanitopoulos has been pursuing dialogue with the rectors in a bid to reach a resolution to the protracted dispute peacefully. He is said to be reluctant to resort to issuing civil mobilization orders to force the staff back to work for fear of fuelling tensions.