(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
As the senior university lecturers' strike entered its second day on Monday, the Finance Ministry in an attempt to end the action.
The Senior Lecturers Union announced the strike on Saturday night after extensive talks between the union, Tamir and Finance Ministry Wage Director Eli Cohen on compensating lecturers for wage erosion broke down and negotiations between the Finance and Education ministries failed to produce a new wage agreement on Sunday.
According to a proposal by Education Minister Yuli Tamir, a mediator would be appointed to conduct negotiations in order bring about a solution to the wage crisis.
Lecturers' representatives were yet to respond to the proposal.
Also Monday, as the secondary school teachers strike entered its eleventh day, Secondary School Teachers Organization head Ran Erez said that the teachers were fighting against organizations that were looking for ways to privatize Israel's educational establishment.
"We know there that there are those who are interested in perpetuating this crisis and are looking for ways to privatize the education establishment - the culprit is the Israeli government," Erez said at a press conference.
Erez said that the SSTO planned to appeal to the UN and anyone who donates money to Israel "to ask them 'where does the money go' and to tell them that it does not go to the right causes."
He added that in his opinion, "we are turning into a third world country." The SSTO head also urged Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to invervene in the crisis.
Tamir rejected Erez's claim. "Regarding the fact that the education establishment needs a boost and more funding, Ran and I see eye to eye, but I think that he has overlooked the changes recently implemented because the present government has allocated a lot of money to cope with privatization efforts."
Tamir urged Erez to "sit in my office and negotiate with me" instead of giving speeches.