High school teachers ended weeks of strikes early Tuesday after the head of the teachers union and the finance minister reached a new wage agreement for the teachers.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon met Monday evening with union leader Ran Erez where they finalized an agreement that will be in place until 2022.
The agreement puts an end to weeks of strikes that have seen high schools closed on alternate days in different cities and towns across the county and teachers refuse to administer exams. A planned strike at over 180 schools on Tuesday was also called off.
The teachers’ union representing high school staff had been demanding an immediate monthly gross wage increase for entry-level teachers, from NIS 6,400 ($1,820) to NIS 8,000 ($2,275), along with a comparable raise for teachers with up to seven years experience. In addition, the union said that teachers who have been teaching for eight years or more must receive an extra NIS 600 ($170) a month.
“We promised and now we have delivered,” said Education Minister Naftali Bennett. “The starting salary of a teacher in Israel will be NIS 8,000.”
Under the new deal, their salaries will rise by a further 2 percent for the first seven years. In addition veteran teachers will receive a raise of NIS 480 that will be gradually introduced over four years.
The four-year process had been one of the issues the union had refused and led to the breakdown of talks.