CAIRO: Teaching staff and other employees of Cairo University will receive increased allowances, the official news agency MENA reported Friday while a Cairo University faculty member questioned how the raises would be funded.
The university council composed of faculty deans and the university president reportedly decided during a meeting Thursday to increase an allowance for teaching staff from 100 percent to 125 percent.
In addition, the value of bonuses given on the occasion of religious holidays will increase from 15 to 30 days for all university employees.
MENA quotes Cairo University President Dr Hossam Kamel – who was appointed in August this year – as saying that the increases are aimed at improving employees’ financial circumstances and increasing teaching staff’s wages.
University professors have long called for wage increases. The Egyptian University Faculty Club, which represents the interests of teaching staff in the absence of a union, recently rejected a performance-related pay scheme which they describe as divisive and illogical.
While welcoming this latest batch of pay raises, Cairo University Professor Laila Soueif questioned how they will be funded.
“Any across the board and unconditional pay raise is a step in the right direction. The question remains however whether it will be implemented in practice, Soueif told Daily News Egypt.
“In addition, it is clear from the MENA article that these pay raises will be funded from university assets rather than government funds. Everything in the university is under-funded, and it is not really a good idea to take money from another source in order to fund these raises, she continued.
According to the report, implementation of an increase in an allowance given to teaching assistants has already begun. Assistants will also receive a research allowance equal to 134 percent of their basic salary.
Soueif told Daily News Egypt last week that assistants were promised a pay increase in the form of a research grant in July and August but had not received the increase by September.
“Assistants did just receive a LE 100 increase, and so that’s probably what it was for, Soueif said.
“The problem is that university affairs are conducted in a very strange way – we don’t receive itemized pay slips unless we request them. Everyone’s name is simply written down with the total sum of their salary written next to the name, making it difficult to work out what we’re receiving, she explained.
Soueif says that these increases do not meet professors’ demands for a minimum wage.
“This is peanuts. Government policy is that if a university has assets it should use them to raise staff earnings, and so universities give these hand-outs to quiet us down.