The academic year will open on Sunday at most of the country's institutions of higher learning, but a threatened labor action by senior faculty at Bar-Ilan University is expected to disrupt the opening of the school year there.

The organization representing senior faculty announced that it will be not be teaching class. The labor action is the result of a dispute with the university administration over payment of unused sick days for faculty members that have retired or are expected to do so this month. For its part, however, Bar-Ilan's administration says the issue only involves a small group of retiring faculty members, adding that it has agreed to the demand but is awaiting approval from the Finance Ministry.

The administration expressed amazement at the faculty's strike action, but the professors claim efforts to resolve the matter have dragged on for more than a year and nine months. Bar-Ilan's management called on the senior faculty not to disrupt the beginning of the school year, adding that it has committed to the faculty members in writing and is pushing the salary director at the Finance Ministry in order to obtain approval as soon as possible.

This school year also marks the third year of a reform plan that, unless modified by the next government, will inject an additional NIS 7.5 billion into the higher education system in the coming years.