On Monday evening, the Teachers Union in Israel announced that they were going on a strike nationwide on Tuesday. It accused the Finance Ministry of trying to exploit the good intentions of the union.
Strike on Tuesday
It is a full-day strike, which will be applicable to elementary schools, kindergartens and middle schools. Special educational institutions and high schools are not included in the strike and will continue their operations. A spokesperson of the Teachers Union said that the Finance Ministry had only agreed to raise the salaries of experienced teachers by a small amount.
They have also refused to offer new teachers wages of more than NIS 8,600, while the union has demanded a salary of NIS 10,500 for them. Plus, they have also asked for a substantial increase in the pay of experienced teachers. Previously, the Finance Ministry had agreed to raise the salaries to NIS 8,200.
Schools had opened on Monday normally, after it appeared that the union and the Ministry had come to an understanding on Sunday. Yaffa Ben-David, the head of the union, had said on Sunday that the Finance Ministry had made a concrete offer, but there were still some gaps to be filled.
While the union chief had seemed optimistic on Sunday after her meeting with Kobi Bar-Nathan, the director of the Finance Ministry who handles employment and salary agreements. But, on Monday, she said that the Ministry was just beating about the bush and this would result in devastating outcomes.
She stated that the Treasury was only exploiting their intentions and had just wanted to stop the strikes, so they held futile meetings. She added that they were disrespecting the teaching profession with their offers and the education system would collapse this way. The head of the union said that the ministry was refusing to raise the salary of experienced teachers by more than a few hundred shekels. The offer had been turned down because it does not offer a real solution.
The union chief said that they had not gotten any results even after six months of negotiation. The fofer from the officials was termed as ridiculous and she said that the Finance Ministry did not care about the education system, the parents or the students. She added that the next school year in Israel would also see chaos if there is no end to the crisis.
She called on Avigdor Liberman, the Finance Minister, and Yair Lapid, the Alternate Prime Minister, to intervene in the negotiations. The Finance Ministry, on the other hand, has accused the Teachers Union of harming students and parents before the end of the school year. The ministry said that they had been working day and night to come to an agreement that could benefit everyone and still remain in the guidelines of the attorney general.
According to treasury sources, a limited budget has been given to the Finance Ministry for conducting the negotiations, so the next government will have enough funds available.