Secondary School Teachers Call Protest Strike

The Secondary Schools Teachers Association has called a strike in the seventh to ninth grades for the first two hours today and will start teaching at 10 A.M.

However, association members in communities surrounding the Gaza Strip and in special education schools will not strike and give classes as scheduled.

The Teachers Federation, which has cooperated with the Teachers Association in the past, said yesterday that its members, comprising most of the junior high teachers, will not be striking.

Teachers Association heads said that the Finance Ministry had not provided satisfactory answers to their demands to advance teachers' status and to improve their wages and work conditions. "We've been demanding negotiations for more than a year but the talks are stuck because of the cabinet's objection, especially the treasury's," an association leader said.

The organizations have staged two two-hour strikes in the last couple of weeks.

Tomorrow the National Labor Court is due to hear the Finance Ministry's request for injuction orders against teachers' strikes.

On Sunday the teachers organizations' heads met Education Minister Yuli Tamir to discuss the debates on an agreed reform in the education system. The reform is to include, among other things, changes in the structure of the teachers' work week, changes in the scope of their work and improving their wages.

Both sides presented their positions on the proposed changes at the meeting. However, they did not set a date for beginning official negotiations on these issues.