Israeli Teachers Continue Strike

Striking teachers, disregarding a back-to-work order issued by a labor court Tuesday, continued to paralyze Israel’s school system today. Some stayed home, some demonstrated and others showed up in class but refused to teach. The strike affects about one million youngsters from kindergarten through high school. University faculty, which declared a three-day strike of its own on Monday, returned to work today but served notice that unless negotiations are started on wage demands, it will resume its strike next Monday.

The elementary and high school teachers who had been about to receive a 15 percent plus wage hike by order of the courts, walked out Monday when the government demanded a no-strike pledge for the rest of the year as a condition of their raise. The matter is expected to come up at the regular Cabinet meeting this Sunday. Finance Minister Yigal Hurwitz said, however, that he would oppose any discussion of it unless the teachers return to work.

The striking teachers have won the support of large numbers of pupils and parents. In almost every city and town today, high school and junior high school students demonstrated on behalf of the teachers. In some localities, the demonstrations assumed a political flavor. Leaflets were handed out questioning why the government has money to pour into settlements on the West Bank but not for education.

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