Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The problem with our university

The problem with our university
By Zach Liang
October 16, 2012 (change)

first part on http://www.ipernity.com/blog/zliangas/422338http://www.ipernity.com/blog/zliangas/422338

The problem with the university

As you may know I work in the university . MY position is in the civil engineers dept in the secretariat . I am in a specialty called subcontracted personnel ie indirectly involved with the university (ie in the public sector ) via a contractor who is our ‘boss’
Sorry if this text is written in very poor English , but I hope that you will get the idea and how the problem goes now

This is a story of more than 20 years in the university .Those times I was not in the university as I was working in the private sector (that time involved with sat antennas and TV channels )

These times the public sector stopped appointing people due to its maximum size IN a country of ca 10 millions there were more than 800000 people in the public sector . .Someone (politician?> )invented the idea of appointing more people using external factors (say contractors ) who carries out collecting people for work on either private or public organizations AMd rthe contractor takes a commission of a 30% (with 23% as VAT )

As about our university Auth ( the Uni of Thessaloniki )is the largest Uni in Greece with about 4000-5000 staff , 800-850 of them via subcontracted ie indirectly
And a notice about the contractors : There are two main contractors ISS (formerly Aspis ) and Ikologiki (Ecologics ) The first company uses personnel for ‘warehousing’ ie something as like ‘cops’ who work for preservation of the buildings or even working on offices as normal personnel . The later carries out cleaning the buildings though a small part is used also as personnel.. I was member of the first company for many years till this Arpil when for unknown reason I was replaced by another of the other company and thus ‘transferred’ to the other . For my bad chance the second contractor has a bad reputation of not paying on time.

Two years ago(9-10 ), we entered into IMF’s austerity program. The money granted from the government dropped to 2/3 of the original budget .
The most important is that the previous government promotes a new bill that will surely ‘destroy’ the universities by making them nearly as private organizations .
Our new rector (as well as the whole community ) are stringent against this bill . However the former minister in a Goebels way tried to impose it by any direct or indirect way . She has also a personal revenge against our rector Mylopoulos , read next

This year except this bill (which under the new government has been quite much softened tough still many of the topics wil be applied ) there are other Goebbels like techniques possibly coming from the former minister. Most of the newspapers ‘reveal’ violations of the universities’ money to be used in non related uses thus destroying the good image of our education .As for example tough this year our uni is ranked #200 in the world , the fake news of a refurbishment of a nonexistent toilette for Eu 35000 (though in reality all this money used for repairing two floors on the administration building ) or even a gift of an Iphone to a actor who would help for teaching on the arts dept . (the real is that a clerk who had a relation with her has gifted it and then fired )

Although you can say I am biased towards the rector , I can assure that this is the truth ,as I have a computer person who does the logistics there .

Another important notice: Two years ago, before the today’s rector elected, advised not only us, the subcontracted personnel , but also later demanded the government to solve this situation , by stopping all contractors and absorbing all this personnel into the university. Although there were 3 different scenarios on how to realize it , the former Minister did nt accept it

Now back to granting. The money granted by the government was quite low 25mil our of 40 mil required by the university. And this money was terminated this July . Since ca 60% goes to the contractors we stopped being paid in August. But ISS , a multinational company , has financial background and can still pay her employees .

The society of subcontracted personnel , knowing well this problem , decided after checking if the money was deposited from contactors of sep 15 th to start strikes against the Admin /(Rectorat? ) in order for the summit of deans to settle it .
The strikes then transformed into sit-in strikes (and closure of the admin building )
And surely the university was fool of junk /garbage (none )

However the dean summit replied with a very generic form asking from the govt to grant the necessary money , the struck people to stop closing the admin building , the contactors to pay their personnel etc , tough they support our struggle

The next escalation of our struggle is to close one building everyday . as for example last week , we closed the Law school for one day and the next day the Philosophic school

In response the admin and the summit (of deans /rector ) firmed the whole University for two days for the reasons referred above

As in result in it unknown what will be happened then . And about 600 out of 800 indirect employees are still unpaid (most of them working in Ikologiki the contractor mainly in cleaning )

And here  are several updates after October 
First an important notice : Before being recruited to Ekologiki (meaning Eclogics  or hereafter Eco  I have been  for ca 10 years under the opposite company ISS , a company  /contractor recruiting people mainly as security guards but also  recruiting  for officer works as me). MY recruitment in Eco  was only for 4 months. Eco is contractor  mainly for cleaning facilities 
IN mid November  Eco’s contract  with the UNi has been expired leaving ca 350 people out if work . Very few of them gained their position after being themselves recruited  into ISS ,and most f them  were still expecting  should something happen with the UNi to return to their positions 
CA 90 days after the strike  there was a  very controversial debate with out Union’s summit  with a slightly short victory (only 17 votes over )to continue the strike  .But  Police  has shuttered the strike  on the Unis building and arrested  several people . it was something expected as the  vice - rector  has warned our union’s  head people otherwise to evacuate th4 building. After this, the building opened and the  employees  returned to their positions back  And the union has been  shuttered . 
IN middle December  ISS  won a short program  with workers of Eco (anyone wanted to work) for ca onw week  just for cleaning services 
Twice a month it is rumored that  the remain  360  employees  from Eco  will retirn back to their jobs . Some of them were announced as contests  in the diavgia.gr  site  for request of competitions . But due to other reasons (ot4er possible contractors were against via legal ways ) most of them never realized .
The only  realizable  way for cleaning facilities  were with small  contactors with a program of 3 times per week  and ca 6 hrs per day 
This (13)end of April the  contracts of ISS employees  have been  terminated . Immediately ISS  re-recruited them  but in a  different way:  Instead of a common contact with the labor union , the company provides a contract  to each worker for signing together with a ‘ pricelist’ for the daily  salary   that starts  from 21.6 – 27.6 Euros with 6 hours of work . (460-560Euros  per month ) The  salary before April was  800-900 Euros per month (for 8 hours  per day ) !!]
Not all workers  accepted this offer and denied signing .
Adding  to this problem in the ‘students Club’ (where my wife works ), ie that  ‘restaurant’ of Students where most employees have been  recruited as  guards since 90 ,although  their main work is officers  or working in the cooking facilities ,  the security  company  demands them  to apply  as guards ! And attend to guard seminars inorder to  take the guard  certificate 
Both employees , from the students club and the  denied , are now under the same  condition . They have  to apply for the certificate . The only  people  who stil do not know what happen  are about 85-100  , ie  the employees who worked on Eco and were officers ……

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