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Israeli schools to open on schedule tomorrow after threats of a teachers strike

School system to absorb refugees from Ukraine, new immigrants from Russia, Belarus

Yaffa Ben David, the secretary general of the Teachers Union, seen after negotiation meeting at the Ministry of Finance in Jerusalem, August 31, 2022. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

After keeping school children and parents alike in suspense for weeks, the government and the Teacher’s Union came to an agreement allowing the school year to open for kindergarten and elementary schools as scheduled tomorrow.

No agreement has been reached, however, with high school teachers and some junior high teaching staff as of Wednesday.

The Finance and Education ministries agreed to raise the minimum salary for new elementary school teachers, increase the base salary after three years, give veteran teachers a significant raise and raise the salaries of principals.

But as part of this agreement, the union will not strike until 2027 by when all the changes are supposed to be implemented. Last year’s academic calendar ended with rolling strikes by teachers marring the close of the school year.

“We managed to arrive at an optimal agreement that will allow the opening of the school year and stabilize the public for years to come,” Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton said.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid commended everyone involved and said that “investing in a good education system with properly compensated young and veteran teachers is an investment in our children and in the future of the State of Israel.”

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman noted that some vacation days will be cut off the scheduled including Lag B'Omer and the Fast of Esther, which will be moved to the days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot which come in the fall.

Meanwhile teachers will be dealing with an influx of Ukrainian and Russian immigrants, many of whom are traumatized from having to flee a war zone. According to the Ministry of Education, more than 1,311 children from Ukraine, 851 from Russia and 105 from Belarus will be entering the school system. This includes 330 children who came to Israel from these countries without their parents. Another 300 are on tourist visas.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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