Lecturers at 17 colleges declared an open-ended strike on Sunday, October 22, the day of the start of the academic year, after failing to reach a wage agreement with the Finance Ministry and the Council for Higher Education. At the center of the dispute is a demand by senior staff at the colleges for a wage increase that would bring their pay in line with that of university professors.
The strike came after months of negotiations between senior staff at the colleges and the Council of Higher Education’s budgeting committee together with the Finance Ministry, which helps fund the colleges. Last week a coordinating council of college lecturers announced the strike at press conference.
Dr. Anat Feldman (Ahva College), chair of the Coordinating Council of Public Academic College Senior Staff, said that the Finance Ministry and Higher Education Council have “dragged their feet for 10 months in negotiations… I call upon the finance minister and the education minister to immediately become involved in order to resolve the current crisis to enable the academic year to open as usual.”