Egypt : Professors strike

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Egyptian university professors demonstrated and held a one-day strike on Sunday demanding higher wages.

The professors are the most recent professional group to call for an increase in their wages in the face of rising food prices. Government doctors last week demanded that their salary be raised to a level that would allow them to survive.

Around 850 professors participated in the demonstration at Cairo University.

Salaries at government universities have not risen since 1972. For assistant professors, their basic wage is approximately $9 per month with additional bonuses taking it to around $50.

Prices of essential food supplies have risen sharply since the New Year. Oil, bread, rice and other staples have seen a nearly 50 per cent increase since January 1.

The government says the subsidy program to ensure that the prices of such products remain low will remain.

“We are demanding that our salaries increase in order to maintain a somewhat decent living style,” a professor told a group of reporters on Sunday. He argued that if the price of bread had risen 50 per cent, his salary should also increase by the same margin.

“This is just vital if I want to support my family. We don’t need to be rich, but we do need to be able to feed our families and right now it just isn’t happening,” he added. Panapress.

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