Junior university staff to stage open-ended strike

Lecturers and teaching assistants protest employment as contract workers, wages; university presidents slam demands.

December 18, 2011 06:59
1 minute read.
Labor strike [illustrative]

Labor strike picket signs 311. (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)

Junior faculty and lecturers at universities across the country were set to stage an open-ended strike Sunday to protest their wages and the terms of their employment.

The strike comes as salary negotiations ended without progress, The Coordinating Forum of Junior Academic Staff Association said.

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Some 9,300 lecturers and teachers assistants were set to take part in the strike at Tel Aviv University, Ben-Gurion University and the Hebrew University. Staff at Bar-Ilan University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology said they would not participate.

The Council of University Presidents slammed the strike as a "cynical attempt to ride the wave of public protests," saying the comparison between lecturers and teaching assistants to contract workers is "ridiculous."

On October 30, the junior lecturers and teaching assistants staged a one-day strike effectively delaying the start of the new academic year over the issue of their employment on a contract basis. The Coordinating Forum of Junior Academic Staff Association demanded that NIS 60 million be budgeted toward changing their employment conditions.

Nadav Shemer contributed to this report.

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