Minister negotiates after academic union calls strike

Tahar Hadjar, Algeria’s higher education and scientific research minister, has met representatives of the national higher education union CNES after it called a three-day strike to protest against deteriorating conditions, careers and salaries for lecturers, among other demands.

Reporters of Algiers said the minister had met Abdelmalek Rahmani, general secretary of the Conseil National des Enseignants du Supérieur or CNES, and he had taken charge of CNES’ chief grievances concerning the statute governing the jobs of lecturer-researchers and devaluation of their socio-professional conditions, and speeding up housing construction projects.

La Tribune of Algiers reported that CNES was demanding “an increase of basic salaries and the system of allowances, professional experience to be taken into account during lecturer-researchers’ careers and the generalisation of a zone-based bonus to all academics”, as well as equal access for all doctoral graduates to grade of professor.

It also demanded that delayed projects for housing for academics should be speeded up, and new projects that would benefit universities should be introduced.

During the three-day strike Rahmani told La Tribune that CNES had “opted to strike after exhausting all means of dialogue and amicable settlement of the problems of the sector which have dragged on for years”.

However, Reporters revealed a low turnout for the strike, especially at universities in Algiers.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.