comenta una compañera: nuestro futuro está aquí… (sobre resistencias en las universidades griegas)

Asunto: <edu-factory> Strikes in Greek Universities
De: Panagiotis Sotiris <>

Strikes in Greek Universities

During the past weeks there has been a wave of faculty strikes in Greek
Universities. These are the reasons for these protests:

-The Greek government, as part of the latest austerity package dictated
by the ‘Troika’ (European Union — International Monetary Fund —
European Central Bank) has announced new extreme wage cuts. For faculty
members these reductions will reach 35%, on top of reductions that have
already been implemented in the past years. This will mean university
lecturers getting less than 950 euros per month and professors less than
1900 (after 35 years of service)

-As part of the same austerity package there’s going to be new extra
cuts on university budgets (excluding faculty and administrative pay,
that comes directly from the ministry, budgets are already reduced by
60-70%) and a complete elimination of funding for adjunct faculty (it is
already down by 65%) in universities and drastic cuts in Technical
Higher Education Institutions, leading to the mass lay-offs of hundreds
of adjunct lecturers and instructors. At the same time more than 700
elected faculty members wait for their appointment, with the government
insisting that their appointment will take 7-8 years because of a Troika
imposed freeze on new public sector hiring.

-The Greek government insists on implementing a neoliberal reform of
Higher Education management (Laws 4009/11 and 4076/12) that will
introduce oligarchic ‘University boards’ with representatives of the
‘business world’, reducing significantly the role of Senates and
Department assemblies, turn rectors into university managements,
eliminate student participation, impose tuition fees on graduate
programs, eliminate the gratis provision of textbooks, undermine the
autonomy of departments as the main academic units and — above all —
be a decisive step in the attempt to impose «Bologna process» course and
degree structures. This legislation was first introduced in August 2011
but a wave of protests, occupations and collective disobedience led to
the postponement of most ‘university board’ elections.

-The Greek government has announced a plan for a ‘spatial restructuring’
of Higher Education meaning the closure of many university departments
and schools and the shrinkage of Higher Education and reversing a
historical trend towards the expansion of Higher Education.

All these have caused anger and despair among academics and students.
Greece is already experiencing a ‘brain-drain’ through mass migration of
young researchers. Even the openly pro-government POSDEP, the federation
of university professors and lecturers, has called for strike action,
albeit only against wage cuts, since it openly supports neoliberal
reforms. However, the decisions for strike action in most University
union assemblies oppose not only wage cuts but also budget cuts and the
new neoliberal legislation and call for a common front of struggle with
students and administrative / technical staff. The General Strike on
September 26 offers an opportunity for the University Movement to meet
in struggle with the rest of the labour movement.

Panagiotis Sotiris

Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of the Aegean,

vice president of the Union of professors and lecturers of the
University of the Aegean