Universities threaten strike unless gov't addresses Shochat issue

With the support of students and the Council for Higher Education (CHE), the university system threatened to strike Sunday if the government does not address the Shochat Committee's recommendations in the next two weeks. The committee, formed almost two years ago, addresses the reformation of university policy and the future of higher education in Israel. During an emergency meeting convened by CHE and the affected parties, a group of university presidents declared they could not open the coming school year or plan for it without the 1.8 billion shekels the Shochat Committee recommended be funneled into all aspects of higher education. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with Education Minister, Yuli Tamir and Finance Minister, Ronnie Bar-On, instructing them to continue intensive discussions to reach an agreement based on the committee's recommendations. Olmert said it was an important matter he planned to make a decision about after the Shavuot holiday. The university presidents are furious at the government because the Shochat committee made their recommendations a year ago and the government is yet discuss them.