domingo, janeiro 30, 2011

Petition Against the reduction of funding for adjunct faculty in public Greek Universities

Background (Preamble): On December 2010, the Greek Ministry of Education announced a 15-20% reduction in funds for adjunct lecturers and professors teaching at public Greek Universities. The announcement came four months into the Fall 2010 semester, when at the time, adjunct faculty had already been teaching without a signed contract and without having been paid at all for the semester! As a result, either adjunct faculty salaries have to be drastically reduced to reflect the pay cuts, or a large number of them have to be laid off for the Spring 2011 semester, thus reducing the number of courses offered for students. At the same time, the Greek Ministry of Education delays the appointment of elected tenured-track faculty for about 2 years and refuses to open new permanent academic positions to cover for the lost adjunct faculty positions. All this puts Greek Universities under tremendous stress and many Departments will not be able to function properly; this is especially true for smaller regional Universities, whose teaching and research activities depend upon adjunct teaching staff.

The reduction of funding for adjunct faculty is part of a broader attack on public Higher Education that includes pressure on Universities to start charging students with tuition, to accept business-style academic management, to seek funding from private corporations, to reduce the total number of Departments and Schools and to eliminate tenure for assistant professors. As a result, hundreds of adjunct lecturers and professors, many of them with many years of academic and research experience, are facing massive lay-offs.

We protest against the reduction of funding for adjunct faculty in public Greek Universities and we demand from the Greek government:
  • to immediately provide Greek Universities with all the necessary funding for adjunct teaching staff;
  • to immediately appoint all elected University faculty;
  • to put an end to the expansion of precarious academic employment;
  • to open new academic positions, thus allowing Greek Universities to achieve academic excellence.
To sign the petition go to

segunda-feira, janeiro 24, 2011

Reunião Internacional de Movimentos e Colectivos Estudantis: em Paris, 11-13 de Fevereiro de 2011

De Londres a Viena, de Roma a Paris, de Atenas a Lisboa, surge uma nova Europa. Os estudantes, os precários, os cidadãos e os imigrantes, as massas lutam pelas suas vidas e seu futuro nas frentes de batalha da crise. Lutam para reconquistarem os seus direitos e a riqueza que produzem juntos todos os dias. Revoltam-se contra as medidas de austeridade que explora o nosso presente e nos rouba o futuro. Expressam a sua fúria contra a arrogância do poder.

Depois do consenso colectivo conseguido nas reunões do “Bologna Burns” em Viena, Londres, Paris e Bologna o ano passado, e este ano no encontro “Commoniversity”, em Barcelona, Edu-Factory e a Rede de Educação Autónoma unem-se para convocar uma reunião europeia de quem participa nesta luta comum, com o propósito de criar uma poderosa rede europeia das lutas dentro e fora das universidades. Um espaço trans-nacional para discutir e desenvolver nossa capacidade política colectiva, para lançar um contra-ataque às políticas que afectam a universidade e o bem-estar social e para construir um futuro para tod@s.

Em conferências e workshops, painéis e assembleias, vamos propor uma discussão em torno das questões-chave da universidade, produção de conhecimento autónomo, redes de activismo, organização política trans-nacional e o comum.

Agora é o momento para nos levantarmos, juntos, colectivamente e individualmente, para recuperar nossas vidas e construir uma nova Europa, baseada nos direitos e na liberdade. Chegou o momento para reivindicarmos o que é nosso: tudo.

sexta-feira, janeiro 21, 2011

Student protests in Netherlands

Today Friday January 21 there was a first national student protest in The Hague to protest the reforms on higher education by the new government (Christian/Corporate with support from neo-racist Wilders party). First there was a boring manifestation on the 'designed protest' zone Malieveld with some 15.000 students. Even the sub-minister for education was invited to speak to the crowd. Hew as pelted with fruit and disappeared again as the crowd started to become unruly (a big explosion in the back of the crowd was a sign to move into town). The official student organizations had delivered 400 'guards' who acted in cooperation with the police to maintain 'order'. Droves of people then started to walk into town center, without any central organization, but with some smaller 'book bloc'-groups.

Meanwhile police unsuccessfully tried to force people to walk back to the (central) station to take the train. After some time and for unknown reasons they riot cops and even on horses and with dogs attacked the students trying to go home. Meanwhile 'downtown' the situation became tense in front of the Binnenhof (government buildings) and at the building of the ministry of Education. At both places riot cops defended the buildings and attacked the demonstrators.

At the Binnenhof police couldn't sweep the Plein square because their vans with riot cops couldn't reach the place because they were being blocked by a sit-down-blockade, so they had to beat those up first. After that they chased all the students from the square, with horses and cars. There was a bit of throwing back, but not much. The official student organizations have declared to feel sorry for the 'violence' and to be on the side of the police. Many students understand now that they will have to organize separately from them and from below. As happens so often with repressing protest the demonstrators lernt a thorough lesson about the functioning of the state.

segunda-feira, janeiro 17, 2011

University of Birmingham occupation

Why are we in occupation?
We are in occupation because the university are placing many jobs under threat, causing unnecessary stress to staff and causing long lasting damage to the development of the university Birmingham. Staff Job losses are already affecting the student experience, job losses at sociology essentially reduced students degrees to what they could gather out of the library, theology cuts reduced the number of staff departmentally to 20. Right now research fellows in the School of Education have been formally placed at risk of redundancy after a review that as unfair, inaccurate and rushed, find out more about this case on our blog see (web link). We demand that the university makes a pledge to not make any unnecessary cuts, to run all reviews, with an external advisor, take into account staff/student criticism, give staff fair opportunities for input and take all decisions to democratic bodies like the senate.
For the education staff we believe this entire process must be restarted, this time done fairly and the staff in the education department given an apology, for the needless stress caused them by the manner of the review. We demand the university does everything in it is power to keep fees down and pledges to make sure that education remains a resource that all can access. We demand that plans to cut scholarship budgets in College of Engineering and Physical Sciences are reversed. We demand that the university is open with it cuts to Geography, biosciences, environmental sciences, the medical school, European Languages, Ancient and Medieval Studies, Theology and Religion and African Studies International Development Department that it has outlined in the sustainable excellence plan We demand that the university criticizes the Browne review as a socially regressive plan and that David Eastwood apologises for his role in encouraging cuts and fees.