After five years of protests and negotiations, Libyan university professors have managed to get the government to agree to a 70 percent increase in their wages. The weekly overtime wage has also been increased from $15 to $22 per hour.
However, some doubt the increases will actually go into effect.
“The planned increase is a legal and due entitlement that does not require parliamentary approval,” Taher ben Taher, director of university affairs at the Libyan Ministry of Higher Education, said in a phone call, “because the law has been there for years but was not implemented.”
He worries, however, that the Ministry of Finance will not include the pay increases in the new budget, arguing that the country cannot afford them because of poor economic conditions and obligations to repay government debts.
A Decade of Stagnant Wages
Since the outbreak of the revolution that toppled Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the wages of professors at Libya’s universities have not been raised, while inflation rates kept rising to reach 20 percent, according to World Bank reports.
Monthly salaries for faculty members in Libya’s public universities range from 950 Libyan dinars (about $210) for an assistant lecturer to 2,100 Libyan dinars (about $460) for an associate professor. Meanwhile, an average Libyan family of five persons has monthly expenses of about 1,600 dinars per month ($350). (See a related article, “A Survey of Public-University Professor’s Pay.”)