The Secondary School Teachers' Union may ignore the National Labor Court's order to wait until the second week of school to begin a strike, Israel Radio reported on Wednesday morning. Union leader Ron Erez said he was considering instructing the teachers to strike despite the court's decision, claiming that the ruling against holding a strike at the beginning of the school year was tainted by political considerations and hurt the teachers' basic right to fight for the conditions of their employment. Earlier, Eli Cohen, the Treasury's wages director, offered to hold last minute negotiations with Erez on the teachers' demands for higher pay and better working conditions. The National Labor Court ruling was issued late Monday night after the Finance Ministry and the Education Ministry teamed up with the municipalities of Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv, and the Union of Local Authorities in Israel on Monday afternoon to request that the court bar the teachers from striking. The teachers were instructed to continue negotiating with the Finance Ministry in the interim. Rory Kress contributed to this report.