Student strike goes on despite warning

Secondary school teachers threaten to resume sanctions on Monday.

jp.services1 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
The strike that has shut down public universities and colleges for more than three weeks will continue despite the threats of university presidents to punish students who do not return to their classes, a National Union of Israeli Students spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post Saturday night. "The strike goes on as usual. Nothing has changed," she said. Meanwhile, the Secondary School Teachers' Organization, representing junior high and high school teachers, threatened to resume sanctions on Monday following the one-day school holiday for Lag B'Omer on Sunday. The organization suspended its strike over employment conditions late last week to better enable teachers to organize for the anti-government rally in Tel Aviv on Thursday. The Committee of University Presidents, in advertisements in the Friday papers, promised to extend the semester by two weeks and to give special consideration on make-up material and test grades to those students who return to class on Sunday morning. Those who refuse to end their participation in the 24-day-old strike, the ads warned, risk forfeiting the semester entirely, losing their course credits and the tuition money paid for them. "Classes will be held regardless of how many students come to class," the notice read, telling students: "Don't ruin the academic year for yourselves. Your future is important to you, to us and to the whole country." After complaints from students and lecturers, the Committee of University Presidents extended the deadline to Monday. Meanwhile, the lecturers unions said they were not bound by the Committee's notices, since they were not party to the decision. Prof. Tzvi Hacohen, Ben-Gurion University biochemist and chairman of the national union of senior lecturers, told the Post Saturday, "The Committee [of University Presidents] put out a notice that requires a great deal from us - extending the semester and such - without consulting with us, asking us or even notifying us. We learned about it from the media, and we are not bound by such declarations."