Archive | June, 2014

NaRFU administration keeps persecuting lecturers for their social activities

16 Jun

In Arkhangelsk the persecution of NaRFU lecturers has been continuing for three months. The repression was caused by their social activities outside the university, including their outspoken support for the LGBT-community. However the situation at NaRFU is singled out from many other cases of discrimination on the part of employer by the fact that the pressure on the lecturers is initiated by the local prosecutor’s office and federal security service administration.
As far back as yesterday disciplinary penalties and dismissals at the request of the prosecutor’s office and federal security service seemed highly improbable, and today they are becoming a customary practice for the country’s universities.
Lately within the frame of inspection of non-profit organizations’ activities Arkhangelsk prosecutor’s office sent NaRFU administration another recommendation to bring disciplinary actions against the university’s lecturers. This time “workplace absence” is imputed to Olga Pospelova, Senior Research Fellow, and Oleg Klyuenkov, Associate Professors. For Klyuenkov it is the second notice of violation. According to the first one, NaRFU administration was to issue him with a reprimand which is being appealed to a court at the moment.
However there is more to the attempts to dismiss the undesirable lecturers than just issuance of the illegal orders. The lecturers are forced to leave NaRFU “voluntarily” by all means. Now and then it reaches absurd lengths. In this way, in the case of Tatiana Vinnichenko, Associate Professor, the academic administration declared expressly that she had to give up any public activity in order to continue her employment. Olga Pospelova was asked not to post materials of political nature to her social network pages.
Persecution at NaRFU has already attracted public attention, both in this country and abroad. The Inter-Regional Trade Union of the Higher-Education Teaching Personnel «University Solidarity» joined the struggle against persecution of the university’s employees who are the members of the trade union.
‘Lecturers are one of the most rightless and oppressed category of employees as they are. In the majority of the universities mass dismissals are carried out, teaching load of the academic staff is uncontrollably increasing. Anybody can be dismissed because of contract expiration. And now at NaRFU they use administrative pressure for civil activism,’ says Pavel Kudyukin, the co-chairman of the «University Solidarity» Trade Union. ‘Nowadays it is fundamental for our trade union to protect its members from discrimination based on any grounds, from ideology or public activity to sexual orientation or gender identity, which is an aspect of private life neither government nor employer have the right to interfere in.
What is more, the following situation is fraught with danger for the general public. Boris Kravchenko, the leader of Confederation of Labour of Russia and a member of President of Russia’s Council on Human Rights says: ‘In case of NaRFU competent authority’s interference in labor relations is not legal. We cannot allow the practice of illegal bringing to disciplinary responsibility to become a customary practice, and we will give all-round support to the members of the «University Solidarity» Trade Union who are fighting discrimination in the workplace.
More detailed information on situation at NaRFU can be received by phones:
+7 915 212 40 07 – Vladimir Komov, the secretary of the «University Solidarity» Trade Union

Sign the petition: “Save University Professors!”

15 Jun

950 faculty of the State University of Management (SUM) have received notice of the impending massive redundancy 30 June 2014. And those faculty whose labor contract is ending this year will be fired without any redundancy compensation.

At the peak of the mass protest against cuts and deteriorating working conditions, a organization of Inter-Regional Trade Union of the Higher-Education Teaching Personnel «University Solidarity» was established in the SUM. Its actions have caused a wide resonance and attracted media attention to the monstrous restructuring, which the SUM administration tried to hide.

Now the administration is made act in accordance with law, but in order to economize on professors, the SUM bosses transfer the faculty to part-time, hourly wage and civil (non-labor) contracts, increasing the work load significantly.

This will inevitably lead to a decrease in the quality of education!

The situation in the SUM is a shocking, but typical case of our common woes of high school. The Reform of universities is actually performed by dramatic redundancies and by excessive growth of work load. If this policy is not stopped, it may result in the collapse of education and science in Russia!

Today, in the SUM – tomorrow, in your school!

Sign the petition against the cuts in the SUM and submit it via the form below to the SUM Acting Rector Vladimir Godin, Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov and the mayor of Moscow Sergey Sobyanin.

Research and teaching staff are advised to indicate your academic degree and title in the “organization” line.

You can get more information on the situation in the State University of Management at the website of the «University Solidarity» Trade Union.

Model letter: please cut and paste this text, or go to the Confederation of Labour of Russia site and fill out the on-line form.

To: Acting rector of the State University of Management
Vladimir Godin

To: Minister of Education and Science
Dmitry Livanov

To: Mayor of Moscow
Sergey Sobyanin

We, the people of various professions and of different political views, are united in our  opposition to the actions of the State University of Management administration, leading to a decrease in the quality of education.  This is  and more like a managerial attempt of layoff, rather than the proverbial "optimization". We express our solidarity with the professors  and lecturers of the university.

We require:
1. Stop unjustified redundancies in the State University of Management  and forcing the professors  into worse conditions of employment.

2. Conduct a comprehensive inspection of the SUM administration’s  actions for compliance with the laws of the Russian Federation.

3. Abandon disastrous "reforming" the higher education at the expense of the professors, by increasing their work load and by mass layoffs.

4. Start negotiations with the trade union organizations of the university, the Moscow authorities, the Ministry of Education, and the  SUM administration in order to find an alternative to the professors’ jobs cuts.