PMO denies student claim that Olmert agreed to negotiate

Lecturers end strike following Monday night deal on employment terms, as student protest enters eigth day.

olmert spiffy 298 ap (photo credit: AP)
olmert spiffy 298 ap
(photo credit: AP)
The National Student Union announced on Tuesday that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had agreed to negotiate with them after an eight-day student strike culminated in a protest outside the Prime Minister's Office on Monday. According to the students, the decision was reached Monday night after a meeting between Olmert, Education Minister Yuli Tamir and Finance Minister Avhraham Hirchson. However, the Prime Minister's Office denied that Olmert had agreed to hold direct talks with the students, who are protesting high tuition rates and other reforms proposed by the Shochat Committee. The students, however, claimed that they had submitted their demands to Olmert's associates, and that it was the Prime Minister's Office that had come to them as part of the negotiations for lowering tuition. Meanwhile, however, the Monday night meeting did yield some positive results - namely, that university lecturers agreed to end their part in the strike. In return, it was decided that the Shochat Committee would not unilaterally enforce changes in the lecturers' employment terms without first negotiating with them.