Photo: To Vima
Employees in the field of education are threatening the government that they will resort to protests. On the one hand, the Federation of Teachers stated they would go on strike if the globally established policy of assessing their knowledge and performance were applied. University teachers expect a wave of emigration of valuable personnel to other countries if their wages and the wages of their counterparts in colleges are further reduced.
Their professional associations sent a letter to the Ministers of Education and Finance Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos and Yiannis Stournaras, expressing in it their dissatisfaction with the expected reductions in the salaries of teachers and researchers.
They stated that they recognize the need for budget cuts, but oppose the "unjustified mass cuts without specific research, clear criteria and a minimum sense of justice." University teachers, who identify themselves as public figures, further wrote that they should not be given the same status as other categories of civil servants because they have much higher qualifications after years of effort. According to them, there was no need for assessing their performance, because this was done regularly through the process of inclusion or advancement in the academic hierarchy.
"Representatives of the figures in higher education state they cannot accept any further reduction in their salaries," they wrote, adding that they would like to meet with the leaders of the two ministries with a request: The gradual alignment of their salaries with those of other civil servants with similar skills, duties and responsibilities.
On the other hand, teachers are not willing for their performance to be assessed and they warned that they were ready to begin mass protests. "We firmly state that we will cancel any attempt for assessment - classification and punishment of teachers and schools," wrote their union representatives in a letter to the Minister of Education.
They pointed out that they would support an assessment conducted not by any independent authority, but by the teachers themselves in order "to identify the problems and plan the necessary actions to reinforce the education process."
According to the teachers, "The relationship between salaries and career growth through the assessment procedure creates barriers and can lead to redundancies. It is a red line and an act of ill will to our professional category and cannot be accepted by us. Any possible effort of applying it will be accepted as a cause for "war", for the beginning of heavy clashes and tension in schools. "
Meanwhile, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki has launched a prosecutor investigation. The cause for it are press publications according to which Rector's Council members attended the wedding of one of the female secretaries in Istanbul, covering some of the travelling costs with university funds.
Some newspapers have published extensive reports in which the authors wrote that the cost of airfares of Rector Yiannis Milopoulos to Istanbul, where he attended the wedding of his secretary , were paid from the special account for the research activity of the university. Vice-rector Yiannis Pandis travelled with him too. According to the publications that refer to the electronic public spending monitoring programme Diavgia, the Rector "in addition to his salary, takes every month an amount of between 1,500-2,000 euro from the specific account."
The university has announced that it will file lawsuits against those responsible for the print and electronic media, who are believed to have slandered the specific members of the academic staff. It has been stated in an open letter that the trip of the Rector and two of his alternates to Istanbul from 18 to 21 May was made within the research project "Development of methods for restoring the historical building of the Halki Seminary." In addition to moral satisfaction, they will claim monetary compensation, which they intend to grant in favour of the students.