No Deal in High-level Talks to End Professors' Strike

Breakthrough appeared imminent after eductation min. agreed to senior faculty demands.

A high-level meeting Monday between Education Minister Yuli Tamir, Treasury officials, and senior university professors ended with no breakthrough despite earlier indications that a deal to end the university faculty work stoppage was imminent.

Tamir and Treasury officials had earlier signed a pledge to "review the wage erosion of senior staff since 1997 and negotiate appropriate compensation." The lecturers had conditioned their return to work on the state's commitment to monitor the wage decreases.

Prof. Zvi HaCohen, chairman of the Coordinating Council of the Senior Faculty Associations, said that the lecturers would go end the strike if a mechanism for preventing future wage erosion is instituted. In return, the lecturers will be required to go back to work immediately.

On Sunday, the heads of universities urged senior faculty to end the strike. They expressed solidarity with their struggle, but said that "the students will be severely affected and the entire semester compromised if the strike goes on."