"There are too many teachers in Israel and the worst ones are very difficult to fire

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by Ifi Reporter Category:Government Oct 4, 2021

A report by the Ministry of Finance reveals that there are too many teachers in Israel, and the worst ones are very difficult to fire.
The average starting salary for teachers reached NIS 5,287 (gross) per month in 2020, according to data from the department in charge of salaries and employment agreements in the Ministry of Finance. This is a salary given in the average scope of work for beginning teachers (the salary for a full-time job is NIS 8,474, but beginning teachers are not employed full-time).
Like other reports concerning the Israeli education system, the report of the Commissioner for Wages reveals many flaws in the education system, which harm achievements, students - and even the teachers themselves, who are forced to work low-wage part-time. Among other things, the report reveals that students in Israel study more hours than students in any of the EU countries - which is not reflected in their achievements. In the salaries of beginning teachers.

The report refers to the salaries of state-employed teachers, which include kindergarten teachers, elementary teachers and middle school teachers - most of whom are unionized in the teachers' union. In contrast, the salaries of high school teachers, who are unionized by teachers, Education.
Teachers 'salaries in the Teachers' Union have been frozen since September 2020, since the salary agreement with them ended in 2019. This is the third school year in which kindergarten and middle school and middle school teachers are employed without a wage agreement, and negotiations on such an agreement have not yet begun.
The pay gap between teachers who are members of the teachers' union and teachers in the teachers' union ranges from 12% to 25% in favor of teachers' union teachers - a gap that encourages new teachers to find high school jobs, making it harder for principals to recruit teachers for elementary and middle schools.
The starting salary of teaching staff could have been higher if they had been employed full-time - but in most cases they were forced to work part-time, for reasons beyond their control. Beginner teachers find themselves working an average of 62% of the job, and after 15 years in the job they reach an average of only 90% of the job.
According to the Ministry of Finance, in the first year, 39% of teachers work less than part-time and another 29% work less than 75% of the time. After five years of service, 29% of teachers still work less than part-time and 31% work less than 75% of the time. Only 7% of teachers work in the first year for a full-time position (95% -100%), and in the fifth year for the position only 39% of teachers work full-time.
The Ministry of Finance explains that the rate of recruitment of teachers by the Ministry of Education is higher than the rate of growth of the classrooms, and therefore it is not possible to find sufficient employment for most beginning teachers. In addition, the need for many beginning teachers to complete their studies, as well as additional limitations that exist in the first year of the position - causes a low level of employment of teachers in the first year.
The Ministry of Education employs 139,000 workers, mostly teachers, making it the largest employer in the public sector. In 2019, the ministry's salary expenses amounted to NIS 23 billion. Tens of thousands more high school teachers, as well as assistants and education staff, are employed by local authorities and education networks, but their salaries are paid by the Ministry of Education.
According to the report, a teaching employee towards the end of his career will receive a salary 3.7 times higher than a beginning teaching employee. Beginner veterans were among the highest in developed countries.
According to the data, the full-time salary of teachers with a bachelor's degree ranges from NIS 19.1-8 thousand (gross); The salary of teachers with a master's degree can reach NIS 22.6 thousand, and the salary of principals with high seniority can reach NIS 34.1 thousand. The average salary in the education system (including the salaries of principals) is NIS 12.2 thousand per month, and is the lowest average salary among all employees in the government sector.
The Ministry of Finance explains that with 19-15 years of experience, teachers' salaries can reach an average of NIS 15-13,000, if they take on additional positions such as classroom education, vocational concentration or stratum concentration. In addition, between the years 2020-2013, teachers' salaries increased by 36%.
According to the Ministry of Finance, students in Israel study more days than students in any country in the European Union, because Israel is the only country that teaches six days a week (even on Fridays). This is an additional 37 study days per year compared to EU countries. The extra days create a great burden on the students, and their high cost does not contribute to the achievements of the system.
The holiday vacations in schools and kindergartens are also not adapted to the parents' vacation days. And perhaps worst of all: the teachers' work week amounts to only five teaching days, compared to the six school days a week for students. As a result, the Ministry of Education is required to find solutions for students.
Moreover, the teaching hours of teachers in Israel are on average small compared to teachers in OECD countries (1,225-1,198 hours in Israel compared to 1,555-1,549 hours in OECD countries).
The Ministry of Finance has chosen to highlight the many difficulties facing a principal who wants to fire a teacher who is not suitable for the school. It is currently not possible to terminate the employment of permanent teachers without the revocation of a license, which involves a complex procedure that can be spread over more than an entire school year. As a result, according to the Ministry of Finance, during 2020, the work of only three teachers in elementary and middle schools was stopped.
According to Ministry of Finance officials, the termination process for hiring teachers lasts an average of 308 days for veteran teachers, and includes exceptional steps compared to dismissal procedures in other countries - such as approval by the Director General of the Ministry of Education to dismiss each teacher individually, and a joint committee with teachers' organizations. The dismissal of teachers in Israel is almost 5 times longer than in countries selected for review by the Ministry of Finance, such as Sweden, France and Germany.

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