Court rejects request for injunction against teachers' strike

The Manufacturer's Association estimated that a teachers' strike would cause NIS 1.8 billion in damage to the economy each week.

 Israeli teachers protest as they demand better pay and working conditions in Tel Aviv on May 30, 2022 (photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
Israeli teachers protest as they demand better pay and working conditions in Tel Aviv on May 30, 2022
(photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)

The National Labor Court rejected a request by the Manufacturer's Association to issue an injunction against the teachers' strike planned for September 1 on Tuesday night.

Earlier in the evening, the State Attorney's office had submitted an opinion supporting the issuance of injunctions against the strike and requested to file a request for such injunctions as part of the case filed by the Manufacturer's Association.

The court rejected the request by both the State Attorney's office and the Manufacturer's Association. The court stated that if the state would like to request injunctions, it should do so as a separate request. The Finance Ministry is reportedly considering doing so.

The president of the Manufacturer's Association, Dr. Ron Tomer, welcomed the State Attorney's opinion earlier in the evening, stating "We are happy that the Israeli government supported our petition and put an end to the extortion of the teachers union, which prevents the necessary reforms in the education system."

"Improving the conditions of the teachers is important and the Finance Ministry's proposal is extremely generous, but upgrading wages alone will not solve the problems of the education system," added Tomer. "The state presented the union with a series of realistic and correct proposals and it chose to reject all of them outright and continue to oppose any move for real improvement in the system. This behavior indicates once again that the good of the education system and the students of Israel is not in front of their eyes."

 YAFFA BEN-DAVID, head of the Teachers’ Union, greets teachers participating in a demonstration in Tel Aviv in May demanding better pay and work conditions. (credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90) YAFFA BEN-DAVID, head of the Teachers’ Union, greets teachers participating in a demonstration in Tel Aviv in May demanding better pay and work conditions. (credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)

Manufacturer's Association warns of economic damage strike will cause

When it filed the request for the injunctions on Monday, the Manufacturer's Association stressed that the union's intention to not start classes on September 1 would lead to "very serious damage" to the economy as about 250,000 workers would be unable to arrive to work.

The association estimated that the strike would cause NIS 1.8 billion in damage to the economy each week it continues. The association attacked the Teachers' Union, saying that it was "taking advantage of the political situation to conduct a stubborn and uncompromising negotiation, which is characterized by a systematic refusal to all the government's fair proposals, and which does not have any proposal on its side except 'my way or no way.'"

Education Ministry opposes injunctions against teachers' strike

Earlier, the Education Ministry expressed opposition to the attempt to issue an injunction against the strike, stressing that it was not a party to the request.

"After most of the disputes have been resolved and the parties have reached broad agreements, the Education Ministry will continue to make every effort to exhaust all options in the negotiations, this is our duty for the sake of the children of Israel. Legal threats will not help solve the education crisis," said the ministry.

On Monday, Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton had told N12 that she was optimistic that an agreement could be reached, saying "if there's really a desire and an intention to get to a deal, we could close this in a few hours."

Shasha-Biton added that Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman also expressed optimism about the talks.

National Unity party calls for cabinet meeting on education crisis

The National Unity party called for Prime Minister Yair Lapid to convene a cabinet meeting for Thursday morning in order to find a solution to the crisis.

"The Israeli government bears responsibility for the education system, not the labor court. The government should have convened two weeks ago, and not leave students, parents and teachers in uncertainty," said the party.

Kara says Ben-David 'terrorizing' entire country

On Tuesday, Abir Kara attacked Teachers Union head Yaffa Ben-David after the union head said she was being "put through terror that no one else in the country is put through," saying that Ben-David was "terrorizing" parents and children.

"Yaffa, the ones who are going through terror are the parents who are now sitting at home and receiving notifications about the cancellation of parent meetings and notifications about not starting the school year. Those who are terrorized are the children who, after [over two] years without educational frameworks because of the coronavirus, are forced to absorb the consequences of Yaffa's whims."

"Those who go through terrorism are high-quality public servants who make sure that the money that belongs to all of us that is going to be poured out at the end of this negotiation will receive a suitable return: high-quality teachers, a vacation schedule adapted to parents and the economy, and autonomy for principals. The real terror is that of the teachers union against all of us," added Kara.

On Monday evening, the chairman of the Teachers' Union Ron Erez lashed out at the Finance Ministry, stating in a letter that officials in the ministry were "torpedoing" every way to reach an agreement and were "making fun of the students of Israel and the entire education system."

The Finance Ministry responded to Erez on Monday evening, saying "We are sorry that the chairman of the teachers' organization chooses to personally and falsely attack public servants."

For weeks, the Teachers' Union has threatened not to start the school year on time if their demands concerning wages and working conditions are not met.