Teachers Union Head Predicts ‘Chaos’ due to Wage Dispute
Yaffa Ben David, the head of the Israel’s Teachers Union, said that the school year was unlikely to begin on September 1st, unless their standoff over wages with the Finance Ministry is resolved.
A Federation of Local Authorities conference was conducted in Ganei Tikva to prepare for the upcoming school year.
Speaking at the conference, Ben David said that the efforts of the Treasury to obtain a court order for preventing a strike will not bring results.
She said that if negotiations fall through, it would result in chaos. As it is, she said that the school year was unlikely to start as per schedule with the way things stand.
The union head said that the Finance Ministry was just ‘dragging its feet’ and added that they were just being men thinking they could make the decisions, but only leading to conflict.
Negotiations have gotten stuck for a new agreement because of the demand of the union to use the existing system of determining salary on the basis of seniority and rank.
Some are of the opinion that the current system discourages a lot of promising young teachers from the profession because their salary is not determined on the basis of their efforts or the quality of their teaching.
Unhappy with the offer
However, the Teachers Union’s chief was unhappy with the offer that the Treasury had put forward. She said that the additional NIS 400 being offered to senior teachers in their salaries was unfair.
According to her, this addition is denying the teachers their dues and deceiving them. She also said that they were hoping the involvement of Yair Lapid, the Prime Minister, would ensure a ‘fair solution’.
The premier had talked to the union head earlier in the day and had also had meetings with the finance and education ministers the day earlier.
A statement from the Finance Ministry said that they had scheduled a meeting with Ben David at 12 p.m.
Yifat Shasha-Biton, the Education Minister, expressed her dismay at the decision of Avigdor Liberman, the Finance Minister, to present the offer of the Treasury publicly, while negotiations are still ongoing.
She said that she had been shocked that the Treasury had announced it as a final proposal after they had met with the prime minister.
She added that anyone calling it a final proposal was not negotiating in good faith. Haim Bibas, the chief of the local authorities federation, also said that they were in support of the teachers.
He said that they need to pay attention to the teachers’ salaries at the end of the day because the Treasury is not making sense.
On Wednesday, Shasha-Biton had met with Liberman and Lapid, and said that they could reach an agreement if all parties come together with good intentions.
She also said that if there is no deal agreed until Sunday, they would call an emergency cabinet meeting for discussing the matter.
She had previously asserted that the salary offers put forward by the Finance Ministry were unsatisfactory.