Teachers Reject Finance Ministry’s Proposal for Ending Strikes

On Monday, the Teacher’s Union in Israel rejected a proposal put forward by the Treasury, which was aimed at putting an end to the strikes that have been ongoing for months. The union said that the Treasury was manipulating the numbers.

The negotiations between the union and the Finance Ministry had stopped a month ago after the former had rejected another proposal back in June.

Worse than before

However, the union said that the new proposal presented by the Finance Ministry was even worse than the existing situation. It added that it would continue its demand for a monthly wage of new teachers of NIS 10,000.

According to the Finance Ministry, the new proposal that they had presented to the union offered a starting salary for new teachers at NIS 9,000 in their first year, which is an increase of about 30% from their existing wage.

Furthermore, it also said that a grant of NIS 18,000 would also be given to teachers who complete three years on the job.

The proposal also indicated that more authority would be granted to school principals and they would be allowed to form new positions in their schools, depending on their respective needs. An NIS 600 bonus would be granted to those teachers who would be selected to fill these positions.

Other measures

The proposal also said that principals would also get higher salaries of NIS 18,000 and an additional NIS 2,000 a month would also be paid to them if they take on other jobs, such as teaching.

The working hours of teachers were also to be raised to 70% of a full-time position from 50%. In order to reduce the burden on working parents, the number of vacation days for students and teachers would also be reduced by 5.

Offer rejected

The negotiation team of the Teacher’s Union was not impressed with the offer and it said that the ministry was just manipulating the numbers. The union said that the meeting was over even before it began.

A statement from the Teacher’s Union said that the officials are making offers that hurt the teachers, as they are only manipulating numbers. It said that this would only worsen the crisis of the education system in Israel and prevent schools reopening on time in the next session.

The union said that there were still great gaps between the sides and urged Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman and Prime Minister Yair Lapid to intervene.

After the failure of negotiations last month, the ministry had said that the union should suggest improvements before a wage agreement is signed.

A Treasury official had stated that if they increase the salaries without getting any benefits in return, it would set a bad precedent for wage agreements with other industries.

Back then, the Finance Minister had also accused the head of the union, Yaffa Ben-David, for not being willing to compromise.

Teachers have been demanding better working conditions and higher salaries and their strikes have resulted parents pressurizing both sides to come to a deal.

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