BEIRUT: Lebanese University professors announced Thursday a three-day strike next week in a bid to pressure the government to appoint deans to the university’s council.
“The executive committee announces a strike at all Lebanese University faculties and institutes for three days: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, in the hopes that its voice will trigger enough interest so that it is not forced to resort to further escalation,” said a statement issued by the executive committee of the League of Lebanese University Full-Time Professors after holding a meeting.
Acting deans have been serving on the council since 2004, stripping the body of its power and giving authority instead to the LU president and the education minister.
The government is trying to achieve sectarian balance before making the appointments.
Also Thursday, LU contract professors across Lebanon began an open-ended strike to push the government to meet their long-standing demand to become full-timers. Mirvat Ballout, a representative of LU contract professors, said that 650 contract professors in Lebanon stopped working.
Unlike full-timers, contract professors are paid their salaries once every two years and do not have the right to enroll in the National Social Security Fund. The professors are holders of doctorates and have been teaching at LU for years.
Attempts by the government to secure sectarian balance in the appointments are also delaying the process.
The contract professors staged protests in the morning, blocking entrances to LU campuses in Fanar and Hadath. Later, the professors protested on the road to Baabda Palace during a Cabinet meeting.