Mutah University employees announced on Thursday that they had suspended their work stoppage until Sunday morning after the university president promised to arrange for them to discuss their demands with officials.
Hekmat Qatawneh, an employee of the Karak-based institution, told The Jordan Times that the decision was made late on Wednesday after a meeting with Mutah University President Abdul Rahim Hnaiti, who asked the employees to form a committee and promised to arrange a meeting between them and Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh.
“We are not sure if the meeting will be arranged, but we respect the president’s intentions as he was doing his best to improve the situation at the university to the extent that his authority allowed,” Qatawneh said.
However, he stressed that the employees will resume their strike if “we fail to meet the premier or if no serious action is taken by the government”.
Despite several attempts by The Jordan Times to contact Hnaiti and Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Rowaida Maaitah, they were not available for comment.
The employees started their protest on Monday, calling on the higher education ministry to intervene and provide financial assistance to help the university overcome its budget deficit, and to take steps, along with Parliament, to enact a unified payroll system for the Kingdom’s universities.
They are also calling for free education for all.
Earlier this week, Hnaiti told The Jordan Times that the university’s budget deficit for this year is JD17 million, and it cannot even pay its employees’ salaries until the end of the year.
“The annual salaries of employees are JD37 million, and our revenues will only reach JD26 million,” he said.