Deal to end teachers' strike nears

Meeting to finalize agreement begins; compromise to include 5% raise, class size reduction.

teachers pissed at pm 22 (photo credit: )
teachers pissed at pm 22
(photo credit: )
The government and the Secondary School Teachers' Organization (SSTO) began at 1:00 p.m. what was expected to be their final meeting before signing a compromise deal to end the 54-day teachers strike, Army Radio reported on Tuesday. According to reports, the agreement which was being discussed would include a 5% wage increase for teachers, as well as a reduction in class sizes. The education reform package proposed by the government was said to be off the table, Army Radio reported. Earlier, after a midnight meeting dubbed "very successful" by both the SSTO and Finance Ministry representatives, reports circulated that a deal may be reached by Tuesday afternoon. Despite the optimism, SSTO head Ran Erez denied such claims during an interview with Channel 2's morning show. "The strike is not over and the conflict is not over, but the meeting was very successful," he said. Meanwhile, sources in the Education Ministry told Israel Radio on Tuesday that the ministry was considering shortening summer vacation by 10 days to make up for the lost class time caused by the strike. Likud MK Silvan Shalom commented on the strike nearing its end and said that an important chance to overhaul the education system had been missed.