(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Some 80 high schools throughout the country were scheduled to shut down on Wednesday as part of the ongoing Teachers’ Association strike.
The strike has been in effect since November 12, with high schools shutting down in a handful of municipalities and school networks each day. The actions have already affected tens of thousands of pupils, with no clear end in sight.
On Tuesday, some 10,000 high-school teachers went on strike, closing schools in more than 30 municipalities, including Nazareth, Beit She’an, Afula, Mizra and Migdal Ha’emek.
Association chairman Ran Erez issued a list of clarifications and instructed educators that on the day of the strike teachers are forbidden to hold class or any other school-related activities, such as meetings or field trips. On days when teachers are not striking, he said, they were not to administer any exams or give out any grades, including the Meitzav standardized tests.
Erez emphasized that the purpose of the strike was to improve the salary and working conditions of high school teachers.
“The association reserves the right to take all measures available and to any extent required,” the organization said in a statement, adding that it would decide on future measures based on the success of negotiations with the Finance Ministry.
The teachers are asking for an immediate increase in their starting monthly salary to NIS 8,000 and raises of NIS 1,000 to 2,000 per month for senior teachers.
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So far, the Finance Ministry has agreed to the teachers’ demands. However, it has yet to comment on when the changes will take effect.
In addition, the Teachers’ Association is demanding added payment for office hours, additional job positions and work done outside the classroom.
A nationwide teachers’ strike that would have affected some 700,000 pupils was canceled on Sunday after Education Ministry Director-General Shmuel Abuav promised to expedite a bill aimed at ending violence against teachers.
The strike was called after a student in Tel Sheva knocked a local high-school teacher unconscious last week.
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