Administrative staff at eight of the country's universities on Friday called a new five-day strike, to start from Monday, as part of their continued protest against the induction of 1,349 employees into the government's so-called mobility scheme, aimed at streamlining the civil service in line with troika demands.

The employees, who will enter their fifth week of protest action on Monday, are demanding that a decision by the Education Ministry to include the administrative staff in the scheme be revoked.

Eight universities – Athens University, the National Technical University of Athens, the Athens University of Economics and Business, Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University and the universities of Patra, Thessaly, Crete and Ioannina – stopped operating last month after rectors said the transfer of the administrative staff had left the institutions unable to function.

A dispute between university rectors and Education Minister Constantinos Arvanitopoulos over the induction of 1,349 administrative staff at eight universities into the government’s so-called mobility scheme intensified Wednesday after both sides lodged legal appeals.