Yemeni Government to Take University Staff to Court for Their Continuing Strike [Archives:2001/41/Front Page]

October 8 2001

The Yemeni government said it would go to court to settle its problem with the university teaching staff. The staff have been on strike for over two weeks, demanding a rise in their salaries. 
The university’s supreme council held a meeting last Thursday, deciding that the academic year should start October, 6. It also urged all teachers to start teaching and stop striking, indicating that only working people would receive their salaries. 
An official source said that political and partisan motivations stood behind the strike. It also said the strike forced students to join private universities. They also pointed out that if the strike continues, the university will still manage to operate. PM Abdul Qader Bajammal said last week that he could replace the administrative employees at the universities by those returning from the Gulf countries. The statement provoked anger by many university employees, requesting that the PM apologize, threatening to file a case against him in court. 
The organization of teaching staff sent a message to President Saleh, asking for an appointment to discuss their problem with the government. The time for the meeting has not yet been fixed, but Yemen Times learned that the organization has already selected names of those who will meet the President. 
In addition, in a letter to the students, the teaching staff disclosed that they are being pressured not to speak out concerning the deterioration of university education. The syndicate held the government responsible for stalling the organization’s efforts to reform higher education as well as preventing thousands of secondary school graduates from joining universities. The letter suggested that the government meet the demands of the rise in population by building new technical institutes around the country. 
The university teaching organization condemned the government’s attempt to tarnish their image and belittle their role in society.