Lecturers, Treasury miss out on deal

Tamir, Eli Cohen, Hebrew University president sign draft; Lecturers' Union head pulls away.

Hebrew university 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Hebrew university 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
A deal that could have ended the university lecturers strike slipped through negotiators' fingers on Monday. During a meeting of the Knesset Education Committee, Senior Lecturers Union head Prof. Zvi Hacohen offered the Education Ministry a proposal that would stop the erosion of lecturers' salaries as well as establish a framework that would examine the salary erosion dating from 1997. "If we sign this, will you end the strike?" Education Minister Yuli Tamir asked. Hacohen assented and committee member MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) wrote out a draft on a piece of loose-leaf paper. Tamir signed the draft agreement, as did Treasury Wage Director Eli Cohen and Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Magidor. Hacohen, however, did not. "What I suggested... needed to be fleshed out," Hacohen told The Jerusalem Post. "We want the Finance Ministry to be very clear about what the mechanism [for examining salary erosion] was. They went back." Education Committee Chairman Michael Melchior told the Post that his committee would not have "let the Finance Ministry play games. They would have had the backing of the Knesset," Melchior said. "I don't blame them. I understand them fully… [but] they had a real opportunity in their hands."