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Liberman dismisses ultimatums, political pressure in dealing with teachers’ strike

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks during a Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 13, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman speaks during a Yisrael Beytenu faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, June 13, 2022. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman says he’ll withstand political pressure in searching for a solution to the ongoing teachers union rolling strike, offering to negotiate but “without ultimatums.”

“No, there won’t be any electoral considerations,” Liberman says regarding pressure to close a deal, at the outset of his Yisrael Beytenu party’s faction meeting.

“We’ll come and sit and we’ll make a real honest effort to come to an agreement,” he says, but adds that there are significant financial gaps between public workers’ salary demands and the treasury’s willingness to pay.

“We don’t have enough police officers, teachers and public transportation drivers,” the finance minister says, broadening the scope of the wage debate. “Wage claims amount to NIS 41 billion ($11.86 billion). Obviously, we can’t pay that.”

Liberman also claims he’s received suggestions to “bring foreign workers” to ease the labor pressures, but says “that also isn’t the solution.”

This morning, rolling strikes occurred in both the education and transportation systems.

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