Below an update regarding the strike from Prof. Asher Cohen of the Coordinating Council (Moetza Metamet).
On Sunday and Monday there were general assemblies in 6 universities (all the universities except Weitzmann Institute).
In all 6 assemblies there was overwhelming (and sometimes unanimous) support for the unlimited strike that we declared
and for the two basic demands of the coordinating council:
1) We demand a full compensation for the erosion in our salary since 1997.
2) We demand a mechanism that will prevent future erosion in our salary.
We expect a very long strike. The sad reality in Israel is that wage corrections, even if they are fully justified, do not take
place without a power struggle.
Yesterday the Coordinating Council met in order to prepare for the long strike. You may have read in the newspapers that
the Education minister suggested a mediator ('megasher'). We also first read about it in the newspapers. Eventually we
even got a brief letter from the minister in which this possibility was raised and it was discussed in the meeting. Our stand
has always been that we are willing to talk at all times with anyone that wants to talk to us. The strike, however, will continue
until our demands are met.
Finally, a word is in order concerning the stand taken by VERA (the committee of the university presidents). In 2001 VERA
wrote to us an official letter (which we distributed to all of you in the mail) in which they essentially acknowledged that we our
salary has eroded prior to 2001, and that it should be corrected. Since then our salary has further eroded. We expect VERA
to stand by its written and signed document and support our cause. Many of us believe that this should be the case even
without this letter.
Unfortunately we have been in similar situations before. We do not expect any significant developments in the next few days
(and possibly weeks). In any case I will keep you updated on any new development.
best, Asher Cohen