University staff vote to continue strike action [Update]

Administrative staff at Athens University and the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) have decided to continue with protracted strike action, now in its 12th week.

The decision came despite Wednesday’s climate of optimism following the Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos and unionists representing striking employees from both institutions.

Reports Wednesday indicated 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, which has paralyzed the operation of the institutions and left thousands of students in limbo, 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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