that's surprising that a message like this reaches this mailinglist!
thanks for pointing this out.
I have been following these events with interest, and I have been
involved in a university strike too , but not in Europe, in Canada.
In february, after a 2 and a half months of truly terrible strike (I
wasn't aware until then that north american strike involves
picketing , and this was done under sub-zero temperatures), the
contract faculty, teaching assistants and graduate assistants at York
University (Toronto, Canada) were legislated back to work without a
contract. the province appointed a special arbitrator clearly not
sympathetic with the demands of the workers.
they said that this was the longest strike ever happened in an
English speaking university. Although this was the only strike fully
covered (and not in a positive way) by the media, we were not the
only one to go on strike. in March and in September 2008 the
contract faculty at Wilfrid Laurier (Waterloo, also in Canada near
Toronto) and at Windsor university (Windsor, same region) went on
strike respectively for 3 weeks and 4 weeks for similar reasons. in
the latter cases, the outcomes were only semi-successful and they had
to give up a lot of demands.
now, the reasons for striking somehow have lots in common with the
other struggles around Europe and, from what I hear, the world:
- hiring freeze of full time faculty and substitution of full timers
with part-timers with less (or no) benefits, a fifth of the salary,
-huge teaching load and no research portfolio;
-the transferring of hiring power and funding management to a
managerial administration and more discretional power to the
presidents and their Board of Governors (mostly from the business
-a focus on business related degrees
-a general reduction of funding and research possibilities in the
faculties of Arts (humanities, social science and the visual arts,
not to mention the interdisciplinary degrees, are all loosing ground)
-reliance of these faculties on external research funds (but most
funds are going to the sciences and not necessarily to projects that
involve arts/science collaborations)
-increase of the professor-student ratio
yup, same story old story.
anyway, I don't know if you are aware of the network that is being
created through the edu-factory project. they are monitoring the
trend and redesigning the website. you can find a lot of information
there, included the strike I was in. I hope something good will come
out from here, or I'll be turned into an ice-cube in the next few years.
On 4-Mar-09, at 7:05 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
> Hi Everybody,
> French universities have been striking and demonstrating for a
> month now
> against reforms that (roughly said) will
> - reduce research freedom for searchers-teachers, increase other
> tasks if no
> good research is done (according to certain evaluation criteria), etc.
> - increase power for the president of the university (they could
> choose alone
> who to engage, etc.)
> - damage the future teachers formation
> - damage the CNRS
> etc... (money/power against education and culture)
> We have heard some spanich universities are striking too.
> What is happening in Greece now ?
> Would it be possible to have some feedbacks from university
> colleagues abroad
> who are striking ? or who have been striking ?
> why ?
> how long ?
> means ?
> any result ?
> for french readers :
> Looking forward to hearing from you,
> Anne-Sarah Le Meur
> Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
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