Court Issues Back-to-work Orders to Striking High School Teachers

Orders to go into effect Dec. 13, after the Hanukkah vacation, giving teachers, treasury time to negotiate a deal.

The National Labor Court issued back-to-work orders late Tuesday forcing high school teachers to end the strike that was set to enter its 49th day.

The court ruled that the teachers would return to work after the Hanukkah vacation, on December 13. The orders would only go into effect after the holiday, giving the teachers and the Finance and Education Ministries time to come to an agreement beforehand.

The court also offered the teachers the option of returning voluntarily to work before the end of the holiday, and pledged to compensate them in accordance with holiday wages.

Earlier Tuesday, Haaretz learned that despite the back-to-work orders, at least some of the teachers were planning not to show up for work.

If the court decides to force the teachers to end their 49-day strike, some of the teachers won't come to class, Secondary School Teachers Association sources told Haaretz before the court had handed down its ruling.

They added that some of the teachers who are planning on coming to work will not follow the curriculum, and will teach about such subjects as the right to strike and laws pertaining to trade unions.

As the court was deliberating the case, attorneys representing the teachers association said the court was not authorized or able to decide for the organization whether to accept the state's proposals.

"This dispute cannot be resolved in unilateral actions," the association's representatives told Haaretz. "The state is habitually neglecting each and every one of its promises to the teachers."