BEIRUT: Lebanese University professors will strike June 5-6 in a bid to pressure the government to make institutional appointments and promote contract lecturers, a committee of Faculty members announced in a statement Thursday.
“Until intentions are translated into action... The committee has decided to strike on Thursday and Friday (June 5 and 6),” the statement said.
The statement was issued following a regular meeting of the committee, where recent communication with government officials was evaluated.
The professors had asked the government to assign deans to the university council, replacing the acting dean who has been serving since 2004. The absence of appointed deans has led the council to lose much of its power, placing the university under the rule of LU’s president and Education Minister.
The committee is also demanding that contract teachers become permanent staff.
Holding doctorate degrees and having worked at the university for years, contract professors earn their salaries every two years and are not allowed to enroll in the National Social Security Fund.
Next month’s protest will not be the first over the issue as protests were held Monday and Tuesday to promote contract professors.
Education Minister Elias Bou Saab had asked the Cabinet to approve the appointments and improve the status of contract lecturers, but Prime Minister Tammam Salam said the subject required further discussion.
“Yes, politics has obstructed educational institutions and Lebanese University, it has also affected the salary scale,” said Bou Saab at an event over the weekend.
The government is trying to achieve sectarian balance in making the appointments, and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Future Movement has vetoed the 300 or so hoping to become full-time professors.