Support for the university and school teachers striking in Greece

Teachers on strike September 2013

Greece Solidarity Campaign’s message sent to teachers’ union OLME and the staff at Athens National Technological University.


Greece Solidarity Campaign stands foursquare behind the actions launched by university and school teachers in Greece to stand up for education and employees rights. We will do everything we can to spread a broader understanding of the issues in your struggle and evoke moral and practical support. We note that:

  • ·        Teacher numbers in Greek state secondary education have been drastically reduced and will continue to fall
  • ·        102 Vocational Education Schools are closing and 2,500 Vocational Education teachers are to be suspended as a step towards dismissal
  • ·        The cuts in educational spending are to reach 47% by 2016
  • ·        5,000 teachers are to be compulsorily re-deployed to primary education and administrative posts
  • ·        New legislation affecting education has been imposed without dialogue which imposes a harsh, exam-centred regime throughout upper secondary education, forcing students to seek private tuition and leading to school dropouts
  • ·        Vocational education is to be part-privatised and a proper vocational training is to be replaced as a way of exploiting the labour of underage workers
  • ·        OLME’s membership has voted massively at mass meetings for a rolling series of 5-day strike actions to be reviewed by the membership at the end of each episode
  • ·        OLME is to launch a Solidarity Fund and is requesting support

GSC further notes the September 6 “Open Letter to Parents and Staff” of professors and employees of the National Technical University in Athens. The government has:

  • ·        Declared the intention to suspend 550 administrative staff (65% of the total)
  • ·        To reduce the active teaching staff by nearly half, having already slashed funds for classes, buildings and libraries.
  • ·        Frozen new teaching appointments over several years while staff numbers haemorrhage due to retirement
  • ·        Impounded euros 30 million attracted by the University for various purposes from other sources.
  • ·        Meanwhile increased the student intake!
  • ·        The resources and quality of teaching and learning at the University, particularly in the field of IT and new technologies, will be devastated. 

As the “Open Letter” says:

“Briefly, the National Technical University of Athens is being pushed into becoming a postsecondary training institution, a vocational training institution, with easy and fast-to-get certificates, for a future of certain unemployment, with a few impoverished workers and professors who will not care about how to teach but only about how to survive. Then you will be asked to pay tuition fees.”

We further note that the professors and employees of the National Technical University of Athens have decided to “stand up with our heads high, instead of remaining idle and hopeless”, and to continue the University’s shining tradition, steeled under Nazi occupation and the struggles against the Colonels’ dictatorship.

Greece Solidarity Campaign declares its full support of OLME and the staff at National Technical University. We will do everything we can to spread news about your struggles among trade unions, working people and the population at large in the UK and to organise moral and material support for you.       September 2013




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