Parents File NIS 3.8b Suit Against Education Ministry Over Strike

Parents from Modi'in and their children filed Wednesday a request for a NIS 3.8 billion class action suit against the Education Ministry and the Union of Local Authorities in Israel after a recently resolved teachers' strike kept students at home for 55 days.

The parents claim that during the strike, students and their parents endured heavy financial and education burdens, as the parents had to privately fund extracurricular activities for their children, including private tutors, babysitters, and lost wages for parents who took days off from work.

One of the complainants, father of three Mordechai Ben Shabat, told the Tel Aviv District Court that, "for two months, we the parents, as law-abiding citizens, said nothing, knowing that the state, a democratic and reasonable sovereign, will reach a quick and efficient resolution, ending the conflict with the teachers. Now, at the end of 60 days of strike, not only has the awaited solution proven itself to be an egotistical exercise, but it seems that we, law-abiders and future educators, are paying for it expensively."

"We cannot restrain ourselves when such a severe blow has been dealt to the future of our children and our existence as people and citizens," he added.

The complainants are demanding a refund of the fees, both mandatory and optional, they maintain were collected from students' parents illegally over the past two years. They are also demanding an exemption from overdue fees accumulated by the parents during the five years prior.

In addition, they are demanding money back that was paid during the two-month strike period.

According to the parents, the over charging of fees was done in blatant contradiction of the mandatory education law and out of disregard for the instructions of the Education Ministry and government decisions. They maintain that for years, fees were intentionally over charged, and the funds weren't utilized for their original purpose which created a surplus, which was also fueled by the repeated strikes.