Academic staff employment conditions would not be changed unilaterally by the Schochat Committee for higher education reform, according to an agreement signed between representatives of academic lecturers and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson and Education Minister Youli Tamir Tuesday overnight. The agreement stipulates that any changes in the employment conditions of lecturers would be the outcome of negotiations involving lecturers' representatives. The student strike, however, was still ongoing on Wednesday throughout the country. On the other front of educational strikes, the Teachers Union announced Tuesday that secondary school lessons would resume Wednesday following a strike that began last month in protest of delays in a new salary agreement with the Finance Ministry. However, the union said they would resume the strike Thursday. Although teachers did not teach on Tuesday, exams and bagrut preparation classes went ahead as planned, following a ruling from the National Labor Court on Monday night forbidding secondary school teachers from disrupting the students' testing schedule.
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The ruling, which came at the end of a three-day hiatus that was called Friday to enable students to prepare for Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremonies, also prohibited the teachers from causing harm to learning-disabled students.
In addition, the decision called for a 30-day period of negotiation with the Finance Ministry, but allowed the secondary school teachers to continue the strike until further notice.
Meanwhile, police stopped a bus at the Latrun Junction on Tuesday that was carrying a group of students to a protest outside the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem against the Shochat Committee's planned reforms.
In the buses, police discovered 12 tires and a container with 10 liters of gasoline, as well as two torches.
The items were confiscated and the students continued on their way to the demonstration.
Over 2,000 university students had already taken up positions in front of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Jerusalem residence.
Police had been busy making the necessary preparations since the early morning in order to prevent outbreaks of violence and Gaza Street was closed to traffic heading into the city center.