SSTO head Ran Erez says teachers will probably not return to work Sunday

Despite efforts to bridge the gap with the government, high school teachers will probably not be returning to work on Sunday, head of the Secondary School Teachers Organization (SSTO) Ran Erez told Israel Radio during a break in the negotiations at the National Labor Court Friday. Finance Ministry Wage Director Eli Cohen offered to freeze for two weeks the government's demand that injunctions be issued to force the teachers back to work, if the teachers agree to stop striking during those two weeks, Israel Radio said. Education Minister Yuli Tamir said during the negotiations that she would act to lower the number of students in classrooms and return teaching hours that were cut. The teachers, however, told the judges that they would not call off the strike until they were granted an immediate raise in salary effective immediately in exchange for the implementation of education reforms. They also insisted that the government commit to gradually reducing the number of students per classroom and returning, immediately, the teaching hours that were cut.