Teachers’ strikes in Israel over salary demands continues following government failure to settle the issues.
Three days ago, all schools and nurseries in Israel were closed in a new wave of Teachers’ strikes across the country. It occurred following the collapse of salary negotiations between Israeli teachers on strike and the Israeli ministry of Finance.
Starting salary at the minimum of about $3,000 per month was what the union had asked. The Ministry of Finance, on the other hand, provided a budgetary arrangement that would only permit wages to approach $2,500 per month. The union’s director made the announcement about the strike’s resumption.
According to a source close to both sides, the conversations covered more than just payment issues. For instance, the government ordered that the amount of yearly vacation days allotted to teachers be subject to an alteration. Additionally, challenges included reducing the dismissal procedure and developing a reward system to recognize noble instructors were issues on the table.
The source also said that because of recent developments to abolish the Knesset and approaching elections, the ministry aimed for limited discussions. However, the teachers’ union pushed for a solid agreement that would lead to a considerable payment increase.
A full-time starting teacher currently makes an average income of roughly 8,500 shekels. However, due to the design of educational system, the majority of teachers can’t have a full work time during their first few years of employment. That indicates that they made about 5,000 shekels each year throughout those years. The Finance Ministry believes that a financial framework should not be presented before settlements have been achieved on the fundamental components of the new deal.
The Finance Ministry reported that although a new round of talks with the teachers’ union had come to a conclusion, the discrepancies remained significant.
Teachers’ Strikes; Main Demands
“The Finance Ministry is operating in a sensitive period under the existing guidelines of the Attorney General, in accordance with the term of the outgoing government,” the remarks by Finance ministry explains the deep challenges and the long way through their resolution.
Last Wednesday, Israeli finance minister presented a plan to foil the teachers’ strikes. If the strike goes on through the next week, Avigdor Lieberman suggested allocating money for programs in preschools and schools. The change entails rescheduling the opening of summer school activities, which were originally set to start on July 1.
Lieberman offered to cover the events with teacher’s assistants, personnel from the after-school programs, outside workers, and teachers who were willing to cross the union instructions.
Ben-David responded to the finance minister’s statement by saying, “it turns out the treasury does have money, but it prefers to give it to day-camp operators rather than teachers.”
Recently, rolling Teachers’ strikes have been taking place all over the country as part of the ITU initiative. The strikes sought to press for appropriate work environment and a salary deal that reflected the value, responsibility, and complexity of the job of a teacher.
“I invite [Prime Minister Naftali] Bennett and [Foreign Minister Yair] Lapid to come down from their ivory tower. The education system is collapsing and thousands of school and preschool teachers are forced to leave their workplaces to find other sources of income,” Israel Teachers’ Union (ITU) Secretary-General stated.
Tens of thousands of Israeli teachers have left the job in search of higher salary as a result of mounting pressure and responsibilities. Ben David further emphasized that a new, fair, and equitable salary deal is now the main demand. Halting the exploitation of educators is also another major requirement.