A negotiation between the Education Ministry and the Teachers Organization ended without agreements late on Wednesday night, raising the threat that high schools would not open on September 1 due to a strike.
In principle, one of the main points of contention was agreed on – a raise of NIS 2,000 per teacher. However, according to the Finance Ministry, there are still major gaps between the government and the Teachers Organization on other issues, which were not specified.
"We are not going into the details of the negotiations," said the Finance Ministry. "Unfortunately, the gaps are large and there are still no agreements. We are making efforts to reach agreements that will improve the education system."
Education Minister Yoav Kisch said that he and Teachers Organization chairman Ron Erez were scheduled to meet again on Thursday morning to try and reach a final agreement to prevent the teachers from refusing to open the school year.
Erez has praised Kisch’s efforts but has attacked Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, saying “the Finance Ministry insists on privatizing the education system and speaks from the throat of the Kohelet Forum. In this framework, they seek to transfer all school principals and teachers to individual contracts.”
The Education Ministry has set the deadline to reach a deal after Thursday’s negotiations.
School year to start with shortage in teachers
According to date from the Education Ministry, the new school year is starting with a shortage of 910 teachers for all school levels. Erez said that number vastly underrepresents reality, however.
"It's 7,000 teachers in the high schools alone," he told N12 on Wednesday. "Kisch is responsible for the teachers who are employed by the ministry, and he only gets data on them. He doesn't have information about the rest."
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.