PMO offer may prevent university strike

Education Ministry, lecturers discuss proposal to pay NIS 300 million in two stages.

October 18, 2007 10:56
1 minute read.
Hebrew University 88

Hebrew University 88. (photo credit: )

Negotiations were held Thursday between Education Ministry officials and the Senior Lecturers Union, which represents Israel's university professors, to try and prevent a university lecturers strike. The union announced this week it would not open the 5768 academic year next Sunday because a collective wage agreement has been missing for lecturers since 2001 while wages have eroded significantly in the intervening years. The Prime Minister's Office formulated a compromise agreement which would enable the 300 million shekels demanded by the professors to be paid to them in two stages during the next academic year. According to the plan, NIS 150 million would be paid immediately and the rest would be paid after students and government representatives have reached an agreement on implementing the Shochat Committee recommendations. Following the offer, the professors delayed the final decision on whether to hold a strike. The PMO's proposed solution is seen as being only partial and while there are ongoing contacts between the lecturers and the Finance Ministry, a meeting Wednesday ended without a deal. Meanwhile, High schools and most junior high schools remained closed Thursday as the Secondary Schools Teachers Organization entered its eighth day of the strike over wages and working conditions. The Finance and Education Ministries have continued to call on the union to accept existing wage agreements and to end the strike. Negotiations between government officials and the union continued Thursday morning at the Education Ministry offices in Tel Aviv. Schools in the Haifa area reopened Thursday, making the coastal town the first location outside Gaza Periphery settlements to resume school. Haviv Rettig contributed to this report

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