High school teachers' strike continues

Teachers, ministry reps fail to reach agreement; SSTO head 'wanted to pressure Tamir to resign.'

By HAVIV RETTIG GUR
October 14, 2007 09:29
1 minute read.
Yuli Tamir 88 298

Yuli Tamir 88 224. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])

 
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The high school teachers' strike will continue for the foreseeable future after renewed negotiations on Sunday produced "no results," according to representatives of the different sides. Secondary School Teachers Organization head Ran Erez met Sunday afternoon with Education Ministry deputy director-general Menahem Cohen and Ofra Bartov, the deputy head of the Finance Ministry's Salaries Department. The meeting ended with both sides entrenched in their positions. Erez stubbornly "refused to enter into discussion over reforming the secondary education system," the Finance and Education ministries said in a statement. "He is ignoring the resources already set aside to significantly raise teachers' salaries, and is dragging the whole system to a long strike that will hurt the students." Already in its fifth day on Monday, the strike will likely become the target of legal appeals as the Education and Finance ministries, along with the Union of Local Authorities, prepare to turn to the labor courts to force the strikers back to work. "We can't let the strikes disrupt matriculation studies. That would be damaging to the children," said an Education Ministry representative. Teachers will not be repaid for days they are on strike, the Finance Ministry said Sunday, claiming teachers had lost almost NIS 25 million in unpaid salaries, while the economy was losing a similar sum because of the strike. Also on Sunday, several dozen high school teachers launched a protest march in support of the strike. A mass rally has been called in Tel Aviv for Monday. Meanwhile, local councils have asked the government for some NIS 6m. daily to cover costs of programs for high school students left without their regular school day.

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