Universities seek labor court's help

Presidents reject arbitration conditions offer; say it invalidates Finance Ministry's proposal.

Hebrew university 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Hebrew university 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The Committee of University Presidents (CUP) is putting together a petition to be submitted to the National Labor Court in the coming days, asking the judges to supervise the heretofore stymied negotiations with the senior lecturers. On Monday night, the lecturers came to the CUP with their conditions for submitting to arbitration, which had been suggested by the Treasury late last week. However, the presidents rejected the offer, saying the lecturers' preconditions essentially invalidated the Finance Ministry's proposal. It is not clear whether the court's intervention would lead to back-to-work orders for the lecturers, essentially forcing an end to their nine-and-a-half-week-long strike. The presidents have said that if the strike continues beyond January 13, the first semester will be cancelled. Meanwhile, the junior faculty and students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will throw their support behind the professors during a symbolic one-day strike on Wednesday, which will culminate in a mass rally at 2 p.m. In addition, a protest tent will be set up opposite the prime minister's residence, a student union spokeswoman said.