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School opening imperiled as treasury accused of dragging out teacher salary talks

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Labor negotiations between teachers and the Finance Ministry are not advancing fast enough, threatening the start of the school year in two weeks, Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton said Tuesday.

Shasha-Biton told the Knesset Education, Culture and Sports Committee that negotiations were not moving at a “serious pace,” days after the head of the Israel Teachers Union threatened to call a strike to block the planned opening of schools nationwide on September 1.

Shasha-Biton said current salary offers by the Finance Ministry for teachers were unsatisfactory and accused treasury officials of dragging out talks until the last possible moment before September 1.

“To offer a veteran teacher NIS 300 [$92] in addition to their gross salary is a mockery. You won’t convince me otherwise,” she said.

Finance Ministry representative Shmuel Applebaum rejected the charges of foot-dragging, but shared the minister’s bleak outlook. “We are determined to reach an agreement as fast as possible, but we are not optimistic. We are not significantly advancing as we wanted,” he........

© The Times of Israel

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