ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 148

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High school teachers union to strike Sunday as part of wage dispute

Secondary School Teachers’ Association has been demanding salaries of at least NIS 12,000 per month; Education Ministry says middle schools to operate as normal

Illustrative: View of an empty school at in Tel Aviv, following a strike of the Teachers Union, on June 19, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Illustrative: View of an empty school at in Tel Aviv, following a strike of the Teachers Union, on June 19, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

The union representing high school teachers was due to strike Sunday as part of an ongoing pay dispute with the Treasury.

The Secondary School Teachers’ Association is demanding that their minimum wage be raised to NIS 12,000 ($3,500) per month.

“We are going to battle for fair pay,” union chief Ran Erez said in a statement Friday, announcing the strike.

Erez accused the Finance Ministry of “procrastinating” for an entire year. “We’ve had enough!”

“The Finance Ministry is degrading the teachers and the National Labor Court’s decisions on multiple occasions for the state to hold serious matter-of-fact negotiations and to reach an agreement on teachers’ wages.”

“The Finance Ministry is abusing the patience demonstrated by the union over the course of a whole year and dragging its feet,” Raz concluded.

Secondary School Teachers’ Association chair Ran Erez during a press conference in Tel Aviv on May 23, 2022. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

He added that teachers in grades 10 to 12 would take part in the action Special education schools will operate as normal.

On Saturday, the Education Ministry released a statement confirming that middle school staff will not participate in the strike in line with a court ruling that the Secondary School Teachers’ Association leading the strikes had no “authority” over middle schools.

“The Education Ministry is working to ensure classes tomorrow will be conducted as usual in all middle schools,” the statement said.

Ahead of the planned strike, the Finance Ministry called for the teachers union to return to the negotiating table. “We are distressed by the puzzling and bad-faith behavior of the teachers union,” the Finance Ministry said.

The union canceled a planned meeting with Finance Ministry officials on Thursday after the Treasury requested to postpone the start by an hour.

In October, Raz took steps to protest the “standstill” in discussions on a collective agreement and employment conditions, announcing that teachers in grades 10 to 12 would not participate in any activity after school hours.

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