Teachers protest outsode Education Ministry 370.
(photo credit: DANIELLE ZIRI)
The Teachers Association called off its month-long rotating strike late Monday after an agreement was reached with the Education and Finance ministries.
“Today we place our teachers at the top of our national priorities,” Education Minister Naftali Bennett said. “Teaching is a mission and an ideal.”
Bennett praised the agreement, noting that it increases teachers’ starting salaries by 20%.
“We will continue to do whatever it takes to bring talented and idealistic people into the education system,” he said.
The association had been on strike since November 12, with high schools shutting down in a different handful of municipalities and school networks each day.
The agreement, which went into effect retroactively beginning September 2017 and is valid through February 2022, met the teachers’ demand for an immediate increase in their starting monthly salary to NIS 8,000.
Additionally, the agreement called for raises of NIS 1,000 for senior teachers beginning in January 2018 as well as increased salaries for school principals.
Shlomo Abuav, the director-general of the Education Ministry, added that the agreement “brings with it a message,” and called on any “quality and educated person who is interested in a meaningful career to come to the gates of the education system – and earn a living with dignity.”
The strike had affected tens of thousands of pupils over the last month as high schools periodically shut down throughout the country. Additionally, teachers were forbidden to administer any exams or give out grades, including the Meitzav standardized tests.
Teachers Association chairman Ran Erez called an end to the strike, saying in a brief statement: “I thank the teachers, who thanks to their strength and determination we were able to reach this achievement.”