Co-ordinated national strike action by university workers across Egypt greeted the first day of the new academic year. The Coalition of University Workers set 15 – 17 September as strike days, and planned escalation to an open-ended sit-in outside the Cabinet offices on 18 September. The Coalition represents non-academic staff and is calling for equalisation of their terms and conditions with academic staff.
Demands agreed at a meeting held at Ain Shams University on 10 September include:
- Formation of a committee to study bringing non-academic staff into the scope of the universities law of 1972 which sets pay and conditions for academic staff
- The right of all staff (academic, administrative and manual grades) to elect the heads of universities and departments is an absolute right
- Proper representation for workers in the meetings of the Supreme Council of Universities and boards of universities and colleges to ensure the defense of workers’ rights.
- Dismissal of all university presidents and new elections to be held including non-academic staff
- Implementation of the decision by parliament to give fixed-term workers permanent contracts
- Improvements in pay and bonuses including increasing incentive pay to 400%
Around 20 universities were reported to be on strike on 16 September, including Cairo University, Mansoura University, Alexandria University, Beni Sueif University, Ain Shams University, Tanta University and Helwan University.
What you can do: send messages of support to Egyptian university workers using our solidarity toolkit or leave a message in the comments on this article.
Reports and pictures:
Ain Shams University