Teachers will not show up for class in all state schools on Wednesday. Affected by the one-day strike are students in elementary and middle schools, the Teachers Union said Monday. Special education classes will operate as usual, as will schools in the Gaza fence area.
The reason for the strike: Teachers believe that they are getting “ripped off” by the government on their sick days. According to the union, teachers are losing 1.4 days from their allocation of sick days for each sick day they take off.
According to the union, this has been going on for years, but nobody noticed until recently – when schools began issuing new, more detailed pay slips to teachers. Among those details is a chart that lists the number of sick days a teacher has utilized, and how many remain in their “account.”
The union said that it appeared that the Education Ministry was deducting not only a sick day from the accounts of teachers who take such days off, but also a relative percentage of days from the overall school calendar – including days off, such as Shabbosos and chagim. The union said that it has been after the government for months to change this method of computation, which it considers unfair – with no response so far.
“We will not accept this shocking situation, where a teacher gets docked a day and a half for each sick day he takes,” said Yaffa Ben-David, chairperson of the union. “The foot-dragging by the Education Ministry on this matter is shameful. Everyone realizes that this is wrong. The bureaucrats who are withholding the change would, I am sure, act far differently if it were their sick days that were being affected.
“The time has come to dispense with these contracts that have clauses that no one understands,” added Ben-David. “How does it make sense that a sick day turns into a deduction of 1.4 days from the account? A day is a day. Our salaries are not a game for accountants to fiddle with.”