Liberman Presents Wage Hike Proposal Publicly
While the new academic year is scheduled to begin from September 1st, there is uncertainty about whether it will begin on time or not.
Avigdor Liberman, the Finance Minister, said that the Teachers Union in Israel had resorted to ‘bullying’ with their threats to go on strike if their demands were not fulfilled.
A strike has indeed been threatened by the head of the Teachers Union that would prevent schools from opening on September 1st, as planned.
Yifat Shasha-Biton, the Education Minister, said on Tuesday, that the negotiations between the Finance Ministry and the Teachers Union were not progressing fast enough.
The Education Minister said that the salary offers that the Finance Ministry had put forward were unsatisfactory.
She went as far as accusing the officials of deliberately dragging out talks to put the start of the school year at risk.
On Wednesday, Avigdor Liberman gave a press conference at the offices of the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem.
He stated that he would not respond to ‘violent behavior’, a day after the accusations were made by the education minister.
According to the Finance Minister, the Teachers Union was counting on the fact that new elections are scheduled for November 1st.
Therefore, it believes that the caretaker government will give into the demands of the union because of the looming elections.
He said that they believe the government would not permit a strike two months before elections are to happen and so, they were trying to take students hostage.
He went on to say that he would not give into the union’s violent behavior, or their bullying. Kobi Bar- Nathan, the official of the Finance Ministry in charge of salaries, stood with the Finance Minister.
Liberman presented the full proposal they had put forward to the Teachers Union and acknowledged that other unionized sectors would have similar wage demands after they sign a deal with the teachers.
He stated that it would be the first time that the education budget would surpass any other budget, including that of defense.
The proposal that the Finance Ministry came up dictates that new teachers would be paid a salary of NIS 9,000 from the beginning.
If they are also home teachers, they would receive an additional NIS 1,100 and kindergarten managers would receive an extra NIS 1,500.
In addition, after they have worked for three consecutive years, the teachers would also receive a one-time stipend worth NIS 24,000.
School principals would receive a starting salary of NIS 20,000 per month and those who are homeroom teachers would receive extra.
This indicates a salary increase of NIS 2,100 per month and NIS 5,400 for teachers and principals, respectively, along with other perks.
Liberman’s proposal indicated that a salary increase of NIS 800 will be given to veteran teachers. He said that the Prime Minister Yair Lapid would meet the teachers’ representatives later in the day.
He also said that they hoped to close all the details by Sunday on the generous offer they had made.