Teachers' strike: Classes canceled throughout Israel on Wednesday

The Finance Ministry stated that it “will continue to insist on an agreement to improve teachers’ salaries."

 Yaffa Ben-David, head of the Teacher's Union at a protest of Israeli teachers demanding better pay and working conditions in Tel Aviv on May 30, 2022 (photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG)
Yaffa Ben-David, head of the Teacher's Union at a protest of Israeli teachers demanding better pay and working conditions in Tel Aviv on May 30, 2022
(photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG)

Schools will be closed throughout the country on Wednesday as the Teachers Union expands its labor dispute, the union announced on Tuesday.

Classes will be canceled in kindergartens, elementary schools and ulpan language classes. Only special education schools will hold classes as normal.

“We have been negotiating with finance officials for six months, but have not yet received even one concrete proposal,” said union head Yaffa Ben-David.

“I call once again on the Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman to come and sit down with the education minister, the director-general of the ministry, the person in charge of salaries and with me tomorrow.”

Liberman said on Tuesday that he had already met with “five brave, talented and enterprising teachers... to hear what is happening in the field. The answer I received is simple and unequivocal. We need to reduce wage gaps and hire quality teachers.

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman attends a cabinet meeting, March 20, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman attends a cabinet meeting, March 20, 2022. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

“Dear teachers,” he added, I am in favor of significantly improving your terms of employment. We have an opportunity to make a big change, and we must not miss it. “

The Finance Ministry stated that it “will continue to insist on an agreement to improve teachers’ salaries, bring relief to parents and the economy by adjusting vacations and promoting excellence,” but “the conduct of the teachers’ union in acting on the backs of the parents and students at this time is not clear to us at all.”

The union has been striking periodically over the past few weeks, with classes starting late or ending early on different days in different regions.

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton expressed support for the teachers last month.

“The strength of the teachers’ protest shows the severity of the crisis in the field and underlines the fact that, more than ever, time is of the essence,” she wrote on Twitter on Monday.

“We will continue to fight so that the teachers’ salaries will rise significantly and their standing will be stronger.”