Israel's teachers protest against their difficult working conditions

As part of the protest, teachers threatened to disrupt the school process and not give students final grades if their conditions did not improve.

 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)

Israeli teachers demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Monday evening against their working conditions, with low salaries being a key focus of the protest.

Elementary schools, preschools and special-education schools ended at 1 p.m. on Monday as part of the ongoing protest, and to ensure that whoever wished to attend the protest could do so.

The Teachers Union had called on parents and high school teachers to join the demonstration.

There are ongoing negotiations between the Education and Finance ministries and the union on a collective labor agreement, which has not been signed since 2019. The union officially announced a labor dispute on May 14.

Israel is facing a shortage of teachers. Many have left because of poor conditions, while others are threatening to leave if conditions do not improve.

 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 (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 (credit: TOMER NEUBERG)

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Association of Secondary Teachers chairman Ran Erez said on Tuesday that if a solution is not reached, teachers would begin to disrupt certain school procedures such as refusing to give students end-of-year grades and report cards, and not participating in end-of-year festivities. They later announced that they would not disrupt giving out grades and report cards in order not to harm the students.

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton expressed support for the teachers’ plight.

“The strength of the teachers’ protest shows the severity of the crisis in the field and underlines 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 they standing will be stronger."

Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton

“It is time for teachers to receive normal salaries,” said the Educational Kindergarten Teachers Organization, which joined the protest. “We have rights, and we’re here to fight for them. The time has come for the government leaders to wake up and save education in Israel. Thousands of kindergarten teachers leave every year because the salaries and conditions are pathetic. The kindergarten teachers must not be neglected. In the current situation, the industry will collapse in a matter of years.”