With the holiday season fast approaching – a time when Greek universities shut down for weeks – they still haven’t opened because officials are striking to protest government plans to shed many of the workers there – but media reports said the staff is still being paid.
Athens prosecutor Panayiota Fakou ordered a probe into allegations that administrative staff at the University of Athens and the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) have been receiving full pay despite being on strike.
University officials are angry that the government wants them to put up a list of names of people who will be among 1300 put into a so-called mobility scheme in which they could be transferred or laid off with 75 percent pay for up to eight months and fired if another job can’t be found for them. In the meantime, they are reportedly enjoying a long paid vacation with no end of the strike in sight.
Eight Greek universities, including Athens University and the NTUA, have been on strike for the past eight weeks over the decision, preventing the start of the academic year.
The administration leaders said the staff is being paid because the strike has shut down the payroll departments and workers there who are striking can’t be informed they aren’t working and so can’t dock themselves and other strikers.
It was not said if the free pay would continue uninterrupted or if the workers would be docked later retroactively. Striking workers in other sectors, such as teachers, lose pay for each day they don’t work although there have been reports that many workers declare themselves in a work action and not striking so they can get paid to stay home and not work.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who earlier this year issued civil mobilization orders to force striking Metro and port workers to return to their jobs under the threat of arrest of being fired is letting the university officials stay on strike without taking any action.