Parents seethe as teachers union head opposes extending school through July

Parents are fuming at the head of the teachers’ union, after Yaffa Ben David insists teachers will not work in July, despite the Education Ministry’s directives.

In a heated television interview on Sunday, which has since gone viral, Ben David said: “We will not add a single day at our expense.”

Schools have been closed since March due to the pandemic and are expected to reopen before the school year ends. The Education Ministry has said it will extend the year through July and break for summer vacation in August.

Many teachers have continued to teach online in the interim. Teachers receive salaries through the summer months, which they say compensates for the poor pay and rigors of teaching in the remaining 10 months of the year. In Ben David’s view, asking teachers to work in the summer is tantamount to having them work for free.

But others, including interviewers Yonit Levi and Keren Marciano, accuse her of self-seeking and sabotaging the state’s efforts to rehabilitate the economy as parents will not be able to go back to work if schools aren’t extended.

Her comments draw widespread criticism on social media.

“I know teachers and educational workers from up close,” says Likud MK Yifat Shasha Biton on Twitter, who is housing minister. “Most of them are moral, dedicated people who are committed to the best interests of the students and the success of the system. The shameful, aggressive and divorced from reality show by the person who is meant to represent them harms them and hurts their reputation.”

But Ben David also receives dozens of supportive comments on her Facebook page from fellow teachers.

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