Secondary teachers’ association threatens pressure over no pay deal

Israel Association of Secondary Teachers, which represents high school staff, threatened action of work Sunday over what he called a “blockage” of talks with the Treasury over a collective bargaining agreement and terms of employment for secondary school teachers.

In a letter to Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton, association leader Ran Erez said the measures were intended as a “warning” at this stage and will not completely disrupt the school year.

As part of the measures planned by the association, secondary school teachers (grades 10 to 12) will not participate in any activities after school hours. These include professional conferences, seminars, organized trips and any form of extracurricular activity.

A special committee will be set up to consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis, the association said.

The measures are due to come into force on Tuesday, October 25.

In his letter, Erez said that despite a recent agreement signed between the teachers’ association and the Ministry of Education, negotiations on some issues had stalled and accused officials from the ministries of Education and Finance to consistently ignore association wage demands.

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton during a handover ceremony at the Education Ministry in Jerusalem on June 14, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

According to Erez, a previous pay deal for secondary school teachers ended in February this year without a new one yet being discussed, leaving the question unanswered for months. “Out of a sense of national responsibility, the teachers’ association has accepted your request to open the school year in August 2022, without a valid agreement and without even launching talks on the salary demands put forward at the start of the year”, indicates the letter. Lily.

“Tens of thousands of secondary school teachers in Israel are employed without a valid collective agreement defining their salaries. Worse still, the issues raised by the teachers’ association on several occasions since the start of the school year — which require no expense — have been completely ignored,” Erez charged, without giving further details on those issues.

Erez’s letter comes after the association reached a last-minute deal with the Department of Education on August 31, averting a strike just hours before the start of the school year.

Israeli students go to school, at a high school in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, November 29, 2020. (Flash90)

The agreement covered the shortening of the school week to five days and the implementation of reforms to secondary school leaving exams in the humanities.

While Erez said at the time that most of his demands had been met, he added, as a form of foreshadowing, that “the Ministry of Finance is a champion at making things difficult.”

On Thursday, the long-discussed new labor agreement, which was first announced at the end of August, was signed between the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education and the Israel Teachers’ Union, which represents teachers in kindergartens, elementary schools and colleges – but not high school. school teachers.

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