Teachers to renew strike Tuesday

Education Ministry to file injunction; students continue university strike.

no school 298.88 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
no school 298.88 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Secondary School teachers were preparing to renew the open-ended strike of high-schools and secondary schools Tuesday, Israeli Radio reported. The Secondary School Teachers Organization (SSTO) had stopped the strike Friday for three days in order to allow pupils to prepare for Holocaust Memorial Day ceremonies. The Education Ministry announced Monday they would file for an injunction order against the renewal of the strike to the National Labor Court. Director-general of the Education Ministry, Shmuel Abuav said that the teachers' strike would harm over 200,000 pupils around the country who are supposed to start their pre-matriculation exams this week. In response, Chairman of the SSTO Ran Erez said that "the strike may harm the pupils but the government is harming them even more." "In the past five years the government has taken off 8.5 hours of studies from the week," Erez said. "It is as if the government is paralyzing studies for a day and a half each week." Meanwhile, university students continued to strike Monday marking the sixth day that the nation's universities and colleges had been closed. The students were demanding to lower tuition fees and to add a billion shekels to the higher education budget. They also protested the Shochat Committee on higher education and called for it to be disbanded and reformed to include student representatives. Students of The Kibbutzim Seminar College, which has the largest tutorial program in Israel, also decided to join the strike. In a statement released Sunday, the students said that "as future educationalists, the right to further, higher education is essential and mandatory for each and every person. It is a right which the state must abide to and which we must fight for." Separately, the Teachers Union started negotiations Sunday with the Finance Ministry regarding their monthly salaries. They are expected to receive a 30% raise in salaries in return for more teaching hours and other modifications within the education system.