Hundreds of university lecturers fired

External staff receives premature dismissal notices as a result of senior lecturers strike.

bgu 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
bgu 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Hundreds of external university lecturers have received premature dismissal notices on Sunday until the second semester, due to begin in the summer, it was reported on Sunday. The change to their work agenda comes as result of the senior lecturers strike that ended last weekend. In the past few days, hundreds of external lecturers in Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University, as well as some from Hebrew University, received notices warning them that their original contracts given to them for the second semester, which was supposed to start in February, would be canceled due to the protracted strike and the resulting extension of the university year until the summer. The lecturers will be fired without compensation and will be re-employed for the second semester, which begins in the summer. If the external lecturers refuse to comply with the changes, their employment will be canceled entirely. The new arrangement will leave many lecturers without a wage for the next few months, damaging their chances of supplementing their salaries in the summer months and depriving them of their right to claim unemployment benefit. Last week, the external lecturers announced a work dispute due to their employment conditions and threatened to strike if their demands were not met. There are some 4,500 external lecturers comprising about half of the entire staff of university lecturers. The universities are accustomed to employing such lecturers for four months every semester - eight months a year. At the end of every semester, they are effectively dismissed, without compensation, pensions and a string of academic and social benefits. In the last few months, the junior lecturers appealed to the Committee of University Presidents (CUP) demanding that they improve the the external lecturers' conditions but their demands were ignored. Hebrew University released a statement Sunday saying that there had been no decision yet regarding the dismissals except for in a few isolated cases.