Thousands of lecturers and other education workers at Sindh and Karachi universities in Pakistan are on strike after management refused to increase salaries and pay bonuses.
Over 4,000 workers at Sindh university walked out on Tuesday of last week demanding that the vice-chancellor honours a pay rise recently agreed by the federal government.
Within hours they were joined by workers at Karachi university. They struck after management refused to allow “leave encashment”—bonuses that staff that have not used their full leave entitlement normally receive.
Bosses also refused to make the regular Eid payment that workers contribute towards throughout the year.
Sensing that the strike could escalate, on Wednesday Karachi university management offered to increase salaries by 50 percent and give workers’ their outstanding back pay.
They also said they would allow leave encashment, but only at reduced rate. These concessions did not satisfy the strikers who decided to continue their action.
Amjad, one of the strikers, said, “We used to get full salary as leave encashment, now they are offering just 50 percent, which is nothing.”
A striking union rep added, “The university has money to hire two Pro-Vice Chancellors, two finance directors—and to spend billions of rupees on medical bills for the elite. But it has nothing for the employees.
“We are not going to accept this nonsense.”