Hundreds protest low salaries for daycare teachers

Teachers in subsidized daycares earn far less than those in locally-run daycares, leading to a shortage of manpower.

 Hundreds of parents and teachers take part in a stroller march to protest low wages for daycare teachers. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Hundreds of parents and teachers take part in a stroller march to protest low wages for daycare teachers.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Hundreds of parents and nursery teachers joined in a stroller march that was held on Wednesday afternoon on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv to protest the teachers' salaries and work conditions.

At the beginning of the week, a strike began at subsidized daycares as part of the protest.

"We get never-ending support from parents who understand and embrace the rights of the daycare teachers to earn with respect," said one of the march's organizers.

"We turn to the Finance Minister and the Economy Minister, look the daycare teachers in the eye and open your hearts to us, and bring an end to the strike that is harming the parents and the daycare teachers."

The strike started on Sunday and has no time limit. Participants are protesting a shortage of staff and low salaries in comparison to those of teachers at municipal kindergartens. As a result, some 70 thousand children up to the age of three, at 700 daycares, have no routine.

 Hundreds of parents and teachers take part in a stroller march to protest low wages for daycare teachers. (credit: Courtesy) Hundreds of parents and teachers take part in a stroller march to protest low wages for daycare teachers. (credit: Courtesy)

Some 50 thousand children in haredi daycares and those run by community centers are going to daycare, as they are not subject to the Finance Ministry.

Some 16 thousand women are employed by the government daycares, and they run daycares for a quarter of children until the age of three in Israel.

"The government is forcing us to strike in its refusal to negotiate with us," said the protesters. They added that the daycares are suffering from a shortage of manpower because of the low salaries and significant pay gaps compared to local daycares.