Negotiations between the Finance Ministry and the Israel Teachers’ Union resulted in an agreement Friday which averted a strike at elementary schools set for the first day of school. The union had threatened to prevent studies from beginning on Sunday, September 1.
Meanwhile a labor court decision earlier this week prevented a strike in secondary schools.
Over 2.3 million pupils of all ages are set to begin studies next week.
After marathon negotiations the Finance Ministry and the ITU agreed on the terms of teachers’ sick days and a new pensions formula, as well as several other issues.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the agreement and the aversion of a strike.
“Our teachers are an important asset for Israeli society and I want to cherish their work,” he said in a statement.
Education Minister Rafi Peretz also congratulated the two sides on ending the dispute.
“I am happy that the Finance Ministry and the teachers union showed national responsibility and reached an agreement,” he said.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahon said in a statement that “we promised to do everything possible, together with the teachers union, in order that the school year begins on September 1 for the benefit of children, parents and education sector workers, and we succeeded.”
Israel Teachers’ Union general secretary Yaffa Ben-David said the agreement was “an unprecedented achievement for the teacher population of the country.”
She also thanked Kahlon for his personal efforts in helping reach the deal.
On Thursday night some 2,000 people took part in a demonstration supporting the teachers’ cause held in the courtyard of the Tel Aviv Museum.