The new management of Budapest’s University of Theatre and Film Arts (SZFE) has offered all full-time employees a two-step wage hike, comprehensive talks on the university’s future and “impunity” to the organisers of SZFE’s blockade, in an open letter released on Sunday.
The offer is conditional on employees immediately ceasing the strike they started last Thursday, and students stopping the blockade of two university buildings by midnight on October 7, the document signed by acting deputy rector Emil Novak and Chancellor Gabor Szarka said.
Under the offer, full-time employees would receive a ten-percent wage hike in December, and a further 15 percent increase in line with a wage scheme to be introduced from January, 2021.
The “university’s citizenry” would be involved in “comprehensive talks on the university’s future, including planned developments and matters regarding autonomy,” the open letter said.
Further, the signatories “pledge to take no action against employees and students who organised or executed the strike or the blockades between the start of the protests and October 7,” the letter said.
SZFE’s students cordoned off two university buildings last month and employees started a strike in protest against what they have called an infringement on the university’s independence.
SZFE’s previous senate and leadership announced their resignation on Aug. 31, saying the foundation that took over the university on Sept. 1 under a government decree had deprived them of “all essential powers”.
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