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Post-elementary schools in the center of the country will be closed on Sunday and Monday as teachers continue to strike, the Secondary School Teachers' Union announced on Saturday night.
The teachers began the strike last week after negotiations with the Finance Ministry over teachers' salary agreements and pensions reached a dead end. The teachers have threatened to continue holding strikes at schools throughout the country until their demands are met.
Education Ministry Director-General Shmuel Abuav called on the teachers' union to halt the strike and return to the negotiating table, saying that the strike was causing all sides to lose out.
"The students are losing their chance to achieve maximal results on their bagrut exams, and the teachers are losing the option of achieving anything in the negotiations," he said.
The teachers also decided to continue the sanctions they declared last week, according to which they have refused to participate in activities that take place beyond regular school hours. This includes school trips, bagrut preparation classes and tutoring sessions for learning-disabled students.
Schools in the Tel Aviv area, including Tel Aviv itself, Herzliya, Givatayim, Ramat Gan and Bnei Brak, will not be affected by the strike.
The Students' Union decided to hold a strike in Tel Aviv University on Tuesday and in colleges on Wednesday.
The students' strike comes as a protest on a plan to hire lecturers on a private- and not collective-contract basis, a move which would adversely affect tuition. Students will also strike in protest of the Shochat Committee, which, they say, is leading towards a decision to raise tuition.