Teachers’ Union Chief: School Year Not Opening Due to Wage Dispute

Israel Teachers Union chief Yafa Ben David predicted that if a standoff with the Finance Ministry over wages continues, the coming school year won’t begin as scheduled on September 1. Unless the deal with the Teachers Union is reached, educators are expected to go on nationwide strike again. The teachers went on strike several times in June to protest against their working conditions and their salaries.

Israeli teachers protest as they demand better pay and working conditions outside a press conference of Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman at the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem, August 17, 2022 (Photo: Teachers’ Union)At a Federation of Local Authorities conference to prepare for the coming school year held in Ganei Tikva, Ben David said efforts by the Treasury to prevent a strike via a court order will fail. “There will be chaos,” she warned, if negotiations fall apart. “The way things are now; the school year will not start.” She accused Finance Ministry officials of “dragging their feet” and being “a bunch of men who think they get to decide what will be. They are divisive and causing conflict.”

Negotiations for a new agreement are said to be stuck over a union demand that a system determining salary hikes based on rank and seniority remain in place. Some charge that the current seniority-based payment system discourages many promising young teachers from continuing in the profession, since it means their remuneration doesn’t depend on the quality of their teaching and on the effort, they invest in it

Zo Haderech reported Saturday that already earlier in the week the Finance Ministry asked the state prosecution to prepare a court order prohibiting strike action at the start of the school year.

Related: https://maki.org.il/en/?p=30413