Junior university faculty to go on strike

Open-ended strike part of ongoing dispute over work conditions; lecturers demanding longer contracts, higher salaries.

ben gurion university building 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
ben gurion university building 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Junior faculty and lecturers from universities across the country will begin an open-ended strike on Sunday, the first day of the spring semester, as part of an ongoing dispute with the Committee of University Presidents over work conditions.
The open-ended strike is expected to cause large-scale disruptions in classes beginning on Sunday. While senior professors and lecturers will hold their classes as normal, the strike will cause widespread cancellations of classes taught by junior faculty and lecturers.
The strike will begin Sunday at Tel Aviv University, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Bar-Ilan University.
On March 7, the University of Haifa junior faculty members will join the strike, followed by those from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev on March 11.
The Coordinating Forum of Junior Academic Staff Associations in Israel is asking for multi-year contracts for junior faculty, as well as increases in their salaries and those of teachers’ assistants, greater regulation in the awarding of grants and increased career advancement opportunities for junior faculty.
Forum spokeswoman Hadar Nir said junior faculty members, including doctors and other professors with many years of experience, are striking in order to achieve a system wherein they have greater job security.
She described the situation as one where junior faculty members are employed for as little as three to eight months at a time, and are not given long-term employment contracts that they can rely on.
The forum announced the strike last Monday, after talks with the Committee of University Presidents fell through. In response the committee said the forum “decided to hurt university students without any justification.
This announcement ignores all of the agreements we have reached and as far as we are concerned, they were repealed the minute the strike was declared.”