15% of Israeli Teachers Still Earn Less Than Minimum Wage

Teaching remains one of the lowest paid professions in the public sector.

Teaching remains one of the lowest paid professions in the public sector despite a nominal 7.4 percent annual increase to an average gross monthly wage of NIS 10,746 in 2010-2011, just 3.8 percent more in inflation-adjusted terms.

According to figures released by the Finance Ministry's wages commissioner, 15 percent of teachers earned less than minimum wage in basic pay – NIS 4,100 a month in 2011 for a full-time job – and required income supplements and other benefits to raise their gross pay to an average of NIS 7,414 per month.

The reform package for high-school teachers signed in 2011 wasn't reflected in the report, but the "Ofek Hadash" reform for elementary and middle-school teachers signed in 2008 promised double-digit pay hikes in return for putting in more hours.

The figures relate to the pay of teachers, principals and vice-principals in public schools and don't include teachers working under private contracts or those in private educational networks such as ORT or Amal.

The median gross wage for female teachers was NIS 10,172 a month while the median earned by their male counterparts was NIS 10,823 a month. The pay of 26 percent of the teachers was below the average national wage.

Most teachers – 57 percent – were employed on a full-time basis while another 26 percent worked at least a 75 percent schedule and only 11 percent were employed less than half-time.

Nir Kafri