Bar-On: We have done all we can
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Tamir: This is a tragedy
Photo: Yaron Brener

State to request injunctions against striking teachers

Education, Finance Ministries say they have reached deadend in negotiations with striking Middle and High School Teacher's Association, will seek court injunctions forcing teachers back to work

In a press conference Monday night, Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On said the government had exhausted all possibilities in its negotiations with the Middle and High School Teachers' Association and would appeal to the National Labor Court to issue injunctions to force the striking teachers back into the classrooms.


"We have done all we can to remove the threat of this strike," Bar-On said in his remarks.


The minister claimed that despite "generous offers" from the Finance and Education Ministries, the teachers' organization had so far refused to respond favorably to the government's overtures.


Bar-On also spoke of the extensive mediation attempts between the two sides and of the open and covert backchannels used to convince the teachers to go back to work.


"We won't take back what we promised during the negotiations," the finance minister promised.


"We will not allow (teachers' organization head) Ran Erez to soften the reforms of the teachers' organization," Bar-On said.


Education Minister Yuli Tamir, who also attended the press conference, said that she had spoken with Erez and attempted to illustrate the magnitude of the "tragedy" that would take place if students continued to stay at home.


"There is a government here that is willing and seeking to invest in education, to expand study hours, minimize the number of students per classroom and, despite all this, he (Ran) refuses to cooperate," she said.


Bar-On said the injunctions were intended to help students return to the classroom so that the teachers could engage in more serious negotiations.


The Teachers' Association responded angrily to the announcement and said that "the Finance Ministry has given nothing to the teachers within the framework of the negotiations and it is their fault that talks have come to a standstill. We'll see them in court."


The teachers already faced off with representatives from the Education and Finance ministries in the Labor Court earlier in November.


The teachers' strike is currently in its 48th day and is the longest teachers' strike in the history of the State of Israel. Students have lost a total of 41 school days thus far.


פרסום ראשון: 11.26.07, 20:35
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