Strikes…a National Reality

It seems that someone, somewhere, somehow, is always on strike in Israel. Some strikes last for a long time, some for a short time. Some are prevented before they begin, others seem never to end.

Last year, I don’t remember how many school strikes there were, but the universities were on an extended strike for many weeks, leaving students having to attend classes and takes tests long into the summer break.

This year, as September rolled around, the teachers in the Secondary Schools made their annual threat to strike, the university professors threatened to strike, the airport workers has a slowdown in anticipation of a strike and…all around, no one know what was going to happen.

The school year started – kids went to school…and then the secondary school teachers went out. They’ve been out for over a week now – and today, when the universities were about to begin, the professors announced that they too would be striking.

So, what makes this year’s strikes different than in the past? Well, now there’s a Yahoo group being started – communication in the 21st century!

Here’s some information about the group – if you are a teacher, parent, or student (and who isn’t?) – you might want to join and get the latest information. From their website (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/israelschoolstrike/) :

This forum has been created for all parents, teachers and children affected by the school strike in Israel.The strike at high schools and some junior high schools has entered its second week with rhetoric heating up as teachers and parents plan rallies and government officials claim the educators are refusing to negotiate.

“We’re going to keep on as long as it takes, and we’ll succeed,” a Secondary School Teachers Organization representative said ahead of Monday night’s demonstration at the Tel Aviv Museum.

Secondary School Teachers Organization officials said the government had backed down on threats to turn to the labor courts to stop the strike, and that the strike would not be broken through legal action.

Various parties continued to call on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to personally intervene to end the stalemate between the Secondary School Teachers Organization and the Finance Ministry.

“Education, even after the [Second] Lebanon War, is no less important than security,” said former National Security Council chairman and Tafnit Party founder.

This forum will serve to provide the latest information regarding the school strike in Israel, where rallies and demonstrations are planned and where teachers may provide information regarding private classes for their students.

Teachers in Israel deserve an honest, fair, just and respected wage for their professionalism and full time dedication. Our children deserve a quality educational
environment.

1 Comment on Strikes…a National Reality

  1. Thank you Paula for your post in support of a better education for children in Israel and for supporting fair wages for teachers.

    As a professional that works both as an English teacher in the public sector and as a professional in the hi-tech sector, I can truly testify how under-valued teachers are in the public eye and what a high burnout profession teaching is.

    Actually, ‘under-valued’ is too mild a descriptor in light of the rampant demonization of teachers in Israel today (i.e., teachers are parasites, lazy, don’t really want to work, uneducated, unworthy…)

    I only wish more parents, professional organizations and the public in general would understand what is at stake here and support the strike.

    Like many teachers these days, I’m looking into leaving the profession I love for good to focus on the private sector. I feel utterly battered and down-trodden.

    Thank you for you post.

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