Egypt’s ongoing doctors’ strike spread to the country’s veterinarians on Sunday, who launched a partial strike in all governorates to demand higher wages among other requests.
Head of Egypt’s Veterinarians’ Syndicate Samy Taha said that the day’s efforts had been a success, citing 49 percent participation from the syndicate’s members and 100 percent involvment from vets in the governorates of Al-Wadi Al-Jadid, Fayoum, Aswan and Matrouh.
Taha explained that the strike is a warning to the government and will be followed by a nation-wide escalation if the doctors’ demands are not met.
In addition to better wages, the striking doctors demand enhanced security protection, the commissioning of fresh graduates and permanent contracts for older graduates.
Taha said that the strike comes after he and his fellow vets lost hope in negotiations with the government, and is very much about the process of working towards change, describing the action as a “means and not a target.”
The heads of veterinary medicine in Cairo and Giza have opposed the strike, said Taha, and will therefore be referred to the syndicate’s general assembly for possible punishment.
The strike by Egyptian vets comes in the midst of other strikes by doctors, dentists and pharmacists in state hospitals to demand an increase in basic salaries.
Interim President Adly Mansour issued a decree in February which increased doctors’ monthly bonuses but not basic pay, sparking anger amongst the country’s medical professionals.
The doctors have also called for the implementation of financial and administrative changes approved in May 2012 by the general assembly of the Doctors’ Syndicate, which included reform of pay scales and promotions.
Egyptian doctors have taken part in a number of partial strikes since the 2011 uprising that toppled long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Source : Ahram online