Thousands of Egypt university lecturers go on nationwide strike - Emirates24|7

Thousands of Egypt university lecturers go on nationwide strike

Thousands of Egyptian university lecturers held a nationwide strike on Sunday demanding salary increases and better pensions, the latest in a barrage of social unrest against the government.

"We didn't give any classes today and now we're staging a two-hour demonstration," said Hani Al Husseini, who heads the strike's coordination committee.

Fellow academic Mohamed Fuad Ali told AFP outside Cairo University, that lecturers currently get around EGP2,000 (Dh1,340 or $365) a month, a figure they want to see doubled.

"If our demands are not met we will be forced to continue strike days, even if that's not what we want, especially during the exam period," said geology lecturer Ezzedine Abdel Hakim, alongside around 60 colleagues.

Hakim said that more than 100,000 lecturers were taking part in the strike at 25 universities around the country. Cairo University alone employs 12,000 lecturers, he said.

Despite the strike, official media reported university life as unaffected by the industrial action.

The Mena news agency said that classes at Ain Shams and Helwan universities were continuing as usual, quoting staff as saying that they were happy with an unspecified salary increase promised by Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.

Students did not express much solidarity for the lecturers.

"Some of us have travelled very far to be here and they're making us lose a day of classes, it's too much," said Cairo University student Basma Amin.

The country has been hit by a wave of strikes and demonstrations in recent months in the face of rampant inflation and sky-rocketing prices. (AFP)