University teachers stage strike [Archives:2005/817/Front Page]

February 18 2005

The seven government universities teaching staff announced Tuesday an open strike due to failure of agreement with the government to improve their living their terms.

In a press conference, the supreme council of the university teaching staff syndicates said that the decision was taken after the “government closed all doors of dialogue and understanding,” said Dr. Abdulrahman Ghanem, chief of the council. He said that the council already agreed with the government last year that a rise in the salary of the 5250 teaching staffers will be in place this year but nothing happened. “The government kept giving promises. Now, the minister of finance refused to implement the agreement,” he said, adding that government officials did not care at all about the threats of the strike. He pointed out that the council was very much careful not to go on strike during the exams. “We have tried several times to avoid going into such a step but the government told us 'go on strike',” he claimed.

The parliament already recommended that the government should implement the teaching staff cadre. “We do not more that we should treated equally with the expatriate teachers,” said Dr. Iqbal al-Alas, spokesman of the syndicates council.

He said that working at the university is no longer an attractive job for illuminated students who prefer to go and work for the private sector wherein they get handsome salaries.

He added that tens of Yemeni Ph.D. holders have left Yemen and joined some Arab and international universities, pointing out that around 80 professors are now teaching the UAE universities only. He even said that some of those who are sent on academic scholarships never come back due the very low salary they receive.