Faculty strike is set to carry on

The deadlock between the government and university professors, who are already two weeks into an indefinite strike for more pay, appeared to worsen yesterday when a prosecutor in the central city of Larissa issued a summons for an urgent investigation into whether any professors at the University of Thessaly had broken the law during another protracted strike last year. University professors met yesterday with professors of technical colleges in an effort to keep them in line, as the latter are to meet with Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis on Monday before deciding on Tuesday whether to continue their strike. Meanwhile, representatives of secondary schools were voting late last night on a proposal to strike on October 6-7, while elementary school teachers have already decided to strike on October 6. Tension between the government and professors has been high this week after Education Minister Petros Efthymiou sent a message to university principals calling for professors’ salaries and bonuses to be cut for the days they are on strike. Professors objected, as they continued to be paid during a long strike last year, claiming that they may not have been teaching but were conducting research. Christos Trikalinos, head of the national union of university professors said the incident at Larissa would polarize the climate further.

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