The cabinet on Thursday voted to approve a major redistribution of the government’s annual budget in order to fund a recently reached agreement to raise teachers’ salaries.

While the majority of ministers voted to back the proposal that required cuts to the Defense, Health, Welfare and Public Security Ministries worth roughly NIS 4.5 billion ($1.3 billion), the short debate held on the matter was reportedly heated.

Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz left the meeting early to avoid having to vote on the redistribution, which they ostensibly opposed, while Public Security Minister Omer Barlev voted against it.

The salary agreement and resulting cuts were also criticized by the Finance Ministry’s budget department, which published a rare open letter on Thursday in which it decried the “severe burden” the redistribution will place on government expenses.

“There is a significant fiscal difficulty to meet the budgetary implications of the agreement at this time, especially in light of the proposed plan. This will make it difficult for government ministries to operate properly and even harm their core activities,” the letter read.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton welcomed the funding of the deal and thanked the cabinet for approving the plan.

“This is a moving day for me. It’s for moments like these that I entered politics and I am grateful for the privilege to change and improve the future of education in Israel,” she tweeted.

The budget redistribution was required in order to fund the salary deal reached by the Finance Ministry and Teachers Union in August and signed earlier this week after a months-long dispute. Without an agreement, the union had vowed to strike and delay the opening of the school year.

Under the agreement, new teachers will receive a salary of NIS 9,000 ($2,600) per month starting September 2023, with bonuses of up to NIS 1,100 ($300). The salaries will first rise to NIS 8,207 ($2,300) in January.

After three years of teaching, employees will receive a grant of NIS 10,000 to encourage them to remain in the profession.

New principals will receive a starting wage of NIS 19,000 ($5,400).

School principals will be able to offer teachers bonuses of NIS 400 to NIS 1,000 for excellence and initiative. Furthermore, principals will be able to hire specialist teachers who work outside the education system, for example, experts in special needs education.

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Cabinet approves major budget redistribution to allow raising teachers’ wages

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27.10.2022

The cabinet on Thursday voted to approve a major redistribution of the government’s annual budget in order to fund a recently reached agreement to raise teachers’ salaries.

While the majority of ministers voted to back the proposal that required cuts to the Defense, Health, Welfare and Public Security Ministries worth roughly NIS 4.5 billion ($1.3 billion), the short debate held on the matter was reportedly heated.

Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz left the meeting early to avoid having to vote on the redistribution, which they ostensibly opposed, while Public Security Minister Omer Barlev voted against it.

The salary agreement and resulting cuts were also criticized by the Finance Ministry’s budget department, which published a rare open letter on Thursday in which it decried the “severe burden” the redistribution........

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