Teacher with students.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
High school students announced on Tuesday that they would cancel plans to hold a
nationwide strike on Wednesday, after the Secondary School Teachers Association
indefinitely suspended its decision to cancel outside- school
“We are pleased to inform everyone that the sanctions by the
Teachers Association were frozen, and as of now we will continue activities in
school. We achieved our goal, at least for now. The strike tomorrow is
canceled,” the National Student Council wrote on the “student protest” Facebook
The teachers initiated their strike in protest of lowered salaries
and deteriorating working conditions, and hoped to pressure the Finance and
Education ministries to meet their demands.
At the request of Education
Minister Shai Piron, however, the Teachers Association held a meeting on Tuesday
and agreed to temporarily withdraw its directive to suspend field
Piron called for the Teachers Association and Finance Minister
Yair Lapid to meet with him on Thursday to resolve the dispute.
this meeting with clean hands and willingly, we accepted his [Piron’s] request
to suspend the sanctions of not leaving school premises [for work], for a fixed
period whose length depends on the outcome of the meeting on Thursday,” Teachers
Association chairman Ran Erez said.
The student counter-strike had gained
momentum in the past few days, with the protest Facebook page getting 32,728
“likes” since its creation on January 9.
“We sympathize with the striking
teachers and understand them, but ask that it does not come at our expense,” the
organizers of the strike wrote on the Facebook page.
Student reactions to
the cancellation of the intended strike were skeptical at best, with many
calling to unofficially continue the strike.
“The sanctions were only
frozen,” a student wrote on the Facebook page comments section. “We need to
continue the strike until their final cancellation; besides, we can’t notify
everyone at the last minute that the strike is canceled.”
angrily wrote, “The students finally have some power and we are folding?” A
number of youngsters wrote on the Facebook page that they were supposed to have
field trips on Wednesday that remained canceled.
The National Student
Council warned students in a statement issued on the Facebook page that any
attempt to strike would not be endorsed and would therefore be illegal. The
council said it would closely follow any developments resulting from Thursday’s
intended meeting, and should the teacher’s decide to resume the strike, the
students would be ready.