University staff to vote on strike action on Thursday

Administrative staff at two Athens universities are to decide Thursday on whether to continue with protracted strike action, now in its 12th week, which has paralyzed the operation of the institutions and left thousands of students in limbo.

Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos met on Wednesday with unionists representing striking employees from both Athens University and the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). Kathimerini understands that the climate was good in the meetings, suggesting that lessons and examinations could resume from Monday. Arvanitopoulos has insisted that, irrespective of the ongoing strike, he will take all the “necessary measures” to ensure that students do not lose the first semester of the academic year.

Several days of talks between Arvanitopoulos and university rectors yielded an agreement that will see significantly fewer administrative staff entering a so-called mobility scheme of forced transfers and layoffs. The deal is said to have the support of a large proportion of the administrative staff in both institutions, though some striking workers are sticking by their original demand that the mobility scheme be scrapped altogether.

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