الجمعة، 19 سبتمبر 2008

University professors say no practical steps taken towards pay-scheme

Sarah Carr reports…
A university professor has said that he has seen “no clear indication” that funds are being allocated to a performance-related pay scheme introduced in June.“So far there is no clear indication that any money is being given to professors,” Amr El-Darrag, vice-chairman of the Egyptian University Faculty Club — which represents the interests of teaching staff in the absence of a union — told Daily News Egypt.“The scheme is meant to begin in October but no practical steps have been taken towards this,” El-Darrag continued.Laila Soueif, a professor of mathematics confirmed this.“Within my department at Cairo University we haven’t even received the papers concerning the scheme,” she said.“Even assistants — who were promised pay increases in the form of a sort of research grant — haven’t been paid these raises, which they were meant to receive in July and August,” Soueif continued.In June the Supreme Council of Universities (SCU), a governmental body made up of university presidents and the Minister of Higher Education presented a draft of an elective scheme under which teaching staff who satisfy certain conditions receive increases in pay.The scheme was heavily criticized by the club, which is calling for across the board improvements in pay and conditions.On March 23, professors launched a historic one-day strike with members of the University Autonomy Group, reporting high turnout throughout Egyptian universities.Popularly known as the March 9 Movement, the group of Cairo University professors presses for university autonomy and academic freedom.The strike came just days after Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif rejected teaching staff’s demands for across-the-board pay rises. He instead offered them wage increases in the form of allowances, and encouraged them to apply for the performance-related pay scheme.Closed

hossam elhamalawy