Elementary School Teachers Not Signing Final Deal Yet

The Israel Teachers Union will not sign a final deal with the government this week on implementing reforms in the elementary school system, although both sides have committed to the reforms.

"We will sign the agreement only after we complete all the discussions," said teachers union secretary general Yossi Wasserman.

The Finance Ministry refused to comment on the talks.

Yesterday, some 100 teachers demonstrated outside the teachers union building in Tel Aviv against the plan to sign the deal.

Last May, the finance and education ministries signed a draft agreement with the teachers union, and have since approved it several times. The still-unresolved issues include a proposal allowing teachers aged 50 and older to teach two hours less than the standard, and those aged 55 and older to teach four hours less.

The temporary agreement is valid until December 15 and states that until then, "the intensive negotiations will continue in order to reach a comprehensive and detailed agreement for implementing the reforms."

At least two negotiation sessions are scheduled to be held in the coming week, but "it's not a race," said Wasserman. "There's a lot more work until the agreement is signed."