Finance Ministry wages director Yuval Rachlevsky yesterday suggested lowering the number of dismissed teachers if the teachers unions promise to implement the Dovrat report on educational reforms this coming school year.
Rachlevsky made the proposal in a meeting between teachers union officials and representatives from the education and finance ministries. According to the proposal, 2,000 of the teachers who received their dismissal slips will resign, and 2,000 additional teachers will receive larger pensions. The suggestion refers not just to the 4,500 teachers whose layoffs the teachers are protesting, but also to an additional 1,500 teachers who were dismissed by other agencies, such as local authorities and technological schools such as the ORT Israel network.
The Education Ministry had expected the teachers' representatives to discuss the proposal with their respective organizations, but they said the suggestion offered no new item of significance.
Tomorrow there will be a partial school strike beginning at noon at some schools in the north, to protest the layoffs. The striking teachers will hold a rally outside the Education Ministry offices in Upper Nazareth to show solidarity with those who have received their dismissal slips, and to demand that the layoffs be converted into resignations.
Towns affected by the strike include Nazareth, Upper Nazareth, Kafr Kana and Migdal Ha'emek. Special education schools will continue as normal.
Teacher dismissal hearings took place in all districts yesterday, and will continue into the beginning of next week. The head of the disabled veterans association, Moshe Matalon, asked Education Minister Limor Livnat yesterday to cancel the dismissal of teachers who were disabled in the Israel Defense Forces and those whose spouses were disabled in the army. Ten veterans have told the group in the last few weeks that they were dismissed from their teaching positions, said the association's spokesman, Moshe Gal.
Livnat said she would work to cancel the dismissals of disabled veteran teachers by including them in the categories of teachers who are not to be fired for humanitarian reasons - for instance, single mothers and victims of terror attacks.
"IDF veterans' choice of the teaching profession constitutes part of their rehabilitation process and expresses how they support themselves and not become a burden on society," said Matalon. "Firing those teachers will harm the rehabilitation process."
The IDF veterans group has 50,000 members, of whom a few dozen are employed as teachers.