Teachers' union cancels school strike

Education Ministry pledges additional funds for teacher benefits, security.

The school year will open on schedule Sunday, after the teachers' union reached an agreement Friday with Education Minister Yuli Tamir and the Finance Ministries on layoff benefits and teacher rehiring. On Thursday, the Education and Internal Security Ministries reached an agreement on school security, under which the ministries would jointly finance the balance of the sum needed for providing security at some 700 schools. The amount in question was about NIS 30 million. Following the agreements, teachers decided to drop the strike, union representatives said. Meanwhile, work on repairing war-damaged schools still has not been completed in some northern communities. Repair work was continuing in Nahariya, Safed, Kiryat Shmona, and other communities on Thursday. Shmuel Abuav, director-general of the Education Ministry, said the work was expected to be finished by this weekend. Strikes had been expected in some 30 schools, Education Ministry officials said. Teacher and parent associations had threatened to strike in Sderot and other western Negev communities where the completion of security improvements was being delayed.