Bielski tries to prevent student strike

Teachers also unhappy about move from collective to personal contracts.

April 8, 2007 11:31
1 minute read.
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Jewish Agency chairman Ze'ev Bielski called on students Sunday not to carry out with a strike throughout universities and colleges planned after the Pessah holiday on Tuesday. "[The students] must give a chance to negotiation. The public must act responsibly and try to come to an agreement appropriate for all sides," said Bielski. According to Bielski, the Jewish Agency has contributed 60 million NIS to higher education in Israel. Earlier Sunday, student organizations announced that all higher education students (students studying in universities and colleges) will strike immediately after Pessah. Student organizations demand a return to the conclusions of the Winograd Committee (which recommended a gradual lowering of tuition aimed at eventually achieving a 50% reduction in tuition). They also want the Shochat Committee, established to reexamine tuition prices, dismantled. Last month student representatives signed an agreement with Education Minister Yuli Tamir and announced a cease in sanctions. According to the agreement, students backed down on most of their demands and agreed on setting up a committee that would discuss the subject of tuition apart from the Shochat Committee (which is discussing a general reform in higher education). Several days after signing the agreement with Tamir, the student organizations decided unilaterally not to honor it. Another threat of impending strike comes from higher education teachers, who announced last week a labor dispute with university chiefs. Prof. Zvi Hacohen, chairman of the coordinating body of the Senior Academic Staff Organizations, said that the the Shochat Committee was given a document discussing hiring teachers under personal (and not collective) contracts. Hacohen said making such a move without consulting representatives of the academic staff was inconceivable and that it constituted a labor dispute.

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