There is a real danger that there will not be enough teachers at the beginning of the next school year if teachers and principals do not receive a raise, Teacher's Union head Yaffa Ben David warned at the Ashmoret Conference for the Management of Economic Innovation in the Education System in Tel Aviv on Thursday morning.
"I am forced to announce that there is a tangible danger that there will be a problem with the opening of the school year because there will be a shortage of teachers and kindergarten teachers who will open the classrooms," said Ben David.
The union leader warned that the Education Ministry will see many requests filed by teachers to go on unpaid leave by the end of the month.
"This is a shortage at the systemic level that will cause entire classes and dozens of kindergartens not to open," said Ben David, stressing that an agreement on wages must be signed by June.
The union leader added that if an agreement isn't reached, the union will begin protest steps and even a labor dispute.
"You, the principals, have borne the burden. The state has placed a lot of responsibility on you, without authority and without reward, just so that the economy can be opened and you did it with creativity, dedication and great love, amid an acute manpower shortage, students full of anxieties who had not been in the [education] system for a long time - and you deserve all respect," said Ben David.
In an interview with 103FM on Tuesday, Ben David stated that she thinks the starting wage for educational staff needs to be at least NIS 12,000. "The wages today are very humiliating, these are the wages of hunger."