Video: A professor at a recognized university was arrested at a demonstration; The judge ordered his release (Shlomi Heller)
In the early hours of Monday morning, representatives of the Committee of University Heads, the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC), the Ministry of Finance and the organizations of senior academic staff at the universities reached an agreement on the wage agreement, effectively ending the strike. The agreements include graduated salary increases for faculty members, promotion of excellence in research and teaching, stability in the system until the end of 2027, and targeted grants for other issues.
At Ben-Gurion University, the classes taught by the senior faculty will be held today via Zoom and will be recorded, and starting tomorrow, classes will resume on campuses. "An announcement regarding the completion of studies during the strike will be issued later," they said.
Following the announcement of reaching agreements and ending the staff strike, PBC Chairman Prof. Yossi Makori said: "I congratulate all parties on reaching substantive agreements in the field of senior faculty salaries, agreements that will bring stability to the system and constitute real news for strengthening academia in Israel."
"Through significant salary increases, both for the entire system and for achievements in the field of research and teaching, by increasing research additions to the fields of society, by gradually increasing funds for academic missions of young faculty members, the possibility of attracting outstanding faculty members at the beginning of their careers.
I wish the lecturers and students the continuation of a fruitful and successful academic year," he added.
Faculty of Medicine building, Tel Aviv University (Photo: Reuven Castro)
A little more than two weeks ago, the Coordinating Council of Senior Academic Staff Organizations at universities announced that it would shut down classes in protest of the delay in negotiations on the new wage agreement with the Ministry of Finance. Throughout this period, no classes were held at the Hebrew Universities, Tel Aviv, Ben-Gurion, Haifa, the Technion, Bar Ilan and the Weizmann Institute.
It was the second strike by senior officials in recent weeks, following the previous warning strike at the end of April, when lecturers did not shut down universities and studies. Unlike the previous one, the second strike was not limited in time and, in fact, has continued to this day.
The salary agreement for senior academic staff expired at the end of 2019. Since then, the faculty has tried to open negotiations on a new agreement, and only at the beginning of last year did talks begin with the Ministry of Finance, the Committee of University Heads (VERA) and the Planning and Budget Committee (PBC). The main demand of the faculty members was to update wages in accordance with changes in the economy. According to his calculation, wages have eroded by 11% in recent years.
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