Israeli Teachers Ramp Up Pressure, to Go on Strike as Pay Talks Stall

Israel's Teachers Union warned of a massive walkout in recent weeks, and say wage negotiations are being 'dismissed and neglected' by the government

An empty classroom is seen in a primary school in Israel, 2020.
An empty classroom is seen in a primary school in Israel, 2020.Credit: Oded Balilty / AP

Schools and kindergartens will be closed on Wednesday across Israel after opening late for two days straight, as the Teachers' Union intensifies their stance against stalled wage negotiations.

Over the weekend, the Teachers’ Union said they were ramping up their protests in light of their issues being “dismissed and neglected” by the prime minister, the alternate prime minister, the finance minister and other treasury officials, who came to another meeting with them unprepared, with no budgetary outlines.

Last week, classes were suspended for two hours in Tel Aviv, the central district, Haifa, and the northern and southern districts, each day in a different region.

The Teachers’ Union has warned over the last few weeks of a massive walkout before the next school year. The Education Ministry has sent questionnaires to school principals in recent weeks, in an attempt to establish the extent of the anticipated shortage in teachers. Principals who spoke with Haaretz said there was a growing shortage of science, English and homeroom teachers in particular, especially in the country’s central district.

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