THE union of adjunct doctoral teaching and research staff (Dede) at the University of Cyprus (UCy) announced on Friday its members will go on a 48-hour strike on January 22 to demand improvement in their terms of employment.
Dede represents adjunct lecturers and research staff and post-doctoral researchers at the UCy who are not full members of the faculty and are not on track for tenure. They make up one third of the university’s teachers and researchers.
The head of the union, Lambros Lambrianou, said that all of its members will participate in the strike and that this will affect classes.
The call to strike came after consultations with the university’s management over improving their terms of employment fell through he said.
Dede demands 10-month contracts instead of the two three-month ones given to its members each year, health insurance, maternity leave, employer’s contribution to the social security fund, and a lift of the pay cuts introduced in 2013 and 2015.
They also want the right to be represented in the university’s collective bodies, “a right provided both to students and the permanent teaching and administrative staff”.
Lifting a recent restriction which stipulates that adjunct teaching staff can only work six semesters within five years is another demand.
“It means someone works full three years, but then they have to wait for two years before being allowed to apply for another post at the university again,” Lambrianou told the Cyprus Mail.
He added that this translates into unemployment for many of them but would also force them to leave the country in search of employment, or to change profession.
“We hope that this strike becomes the reason the university’s management enters into a dialogue in good faith,” Lambrianou said.
This strike is a warning, the union said, adding that industrial action would escalate if university management failed to comply with any commitments.
“Securing decent working conditions for young scientists is a guarantee for improving and broadening the research and teaching framework and halts the flight of qualified scientists abroad,” it said.
The Rector of UCy, Constantinos Christofides, said the university is already making arrangements to make sure that no classes will be affected during the two days of the strike.