(photo credit: Channel 2)
Negotiations resumed on Monday between the national student unions and the Prime Minister's Office over the month-long strikes that have shut down Israel's entire education system.
National Student Organization head Itay Barda cautioned that "the gaps are still large. Even if we have to lose the semester, it is a small price to pay compared to what many citizens will be forced to pay if the [Shochat Committee recommendations] are implemented."
The negotiations were described as "preliminary" by a National Union of Israeli Students representative.
"They still have to get back to us," said the representative when asked where the negotiations stood as of Monday night. "We want to reach an agreement that will respect the student public. We want an agreement that will include what we have been demanding all along."
The unions have been striking in protest of the Shochat Committee's establishment in November, saying that the committee's conclusions were a foregone conclusion and would result in the "privatization" of higher education.
Despite the negotiations, publicly-funded universities and colleges throughout the country will be closed on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Secondary School Teachers Union announced on Monday that Tel Aviv-area junior high and high school classes would be canceled starting at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, as the teachers continued their strike in protest of delayed wage agreements.