Strikes spread despite mediator

“Strikes and protests in French universities and laboratories continued to spread last week, despite the appointment of a mediator by Valérie Pécresse, Minister of Higher Education and Research, in an attempt to find a solution to the conflict over a proposed change in academics’ job status and other reforms. Nine university presidents have joined the protesters in demanding withdrawal of the contentious decree. Tens of thousands of protesting university lecturers and other staff, researchers and students took to the streets in major university towns last Tuesday. Unions claimed there were nearly 100,000 demonstrators nationwide, including 50,000 in Paris, while police estimates were 50,000 and 17,000 respectively. Meanwhile, anti-government action included university closures, lecturers’ refusal to carry out administrative duties and lectures held in the streets or in cafés to draw public attention to grievances …” (more)

[Jane Marshall, University World News, 15 February]

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