Nat'l Parents Association to petition High Court against school strike

Talks between gov't and Union of Local Authorities over budget cuts set to continue until last minute, but 11 cities say they won't participate in strike.

Empty class 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Empty class 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The National Parents Association said Friday that it planned to petition the High Court of Justice in order to prevent the local authorities' strike in schools which has been declared for Sunday. Shlomo Buhbut, head of the Union of Local Authorities, which called the strike Thursday to protest against government-initiated budget cuts, called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to reach agreements with the local authorities on their budget demands before Sunday. "We have time until Saturday night," he told Army Radio. "If the prime minister, finance minister and interior minister call us, we'll come, sit and talk. We don't want words this time, but deeds." Negotiations to avoid the strikes are expected to continue until the last minute, but if the sides fail to reach a breakthrough, kindergartens and schools, except for special education institutions, will be closed in affected areas. Municipal services such as garbage collection will also strike. However, 11 cities have announced their intention not to participate in the strike: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Herzliya, Petah Tikva, Rishon Lezion, Rehovot, Ra'anana, Netanya, Ramle and Hod Hasharon. As part of the planned action on Sunday, hundreds of garbage trucks from across the nation are planning a convoy to the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. Large traffic jams are expected as a result. Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar on Thursday night met with local authority heads and called on them to refrain from causing disruptions to school classes. "I understand there are problems and crises which the local authorities are dealing with, but it would be a terrible mistake to allow this to harm the pupils or their studies," Sa'ar told them. Abe Selig contributed to this report