The Histadrut and the Local Government Center, which represents local authorities, have officially ratified a new salary agreement for education supporters in kindergartens, schools, and special education. This agreement is the result of negotiations between the Ministry of Finance and the General Histadrut, following efforts by education assistants and local authorities to secure higher wages.
According to the terms of the agreement, the initial salary for assistants will undergo a 22% increase, rising from NIS 5,900 for full-time positions to NIS 7,200 for full-time roles. Special education assistants will also experience an additional salary raise. This agreement exclusively pertains to aides employed by local government entities in schools and kindergartens catering to children aged 3 and above. It does not encompass caregivers working in supervised dormitories under the Ministry of Education's jurisdiction.
The new salary agreement was signed after negotiations that commenced in March between the Ministry of Finance and the General Histadrut. These discussions were prompted by the desire of education assistants and local authorities to enhance their compensation. The hope is that this salary increase will alleviate the challenges faced in kindergartens due to a shortage of assistants, which has resulted in disruptions and even the cancellation of school days.
The government ministries and the local government center view this agreement as a transformative step forward, significantly elevating the status of over 55,000 education supporters. It is anticipated that this agreement will reshape the perception of the role of an education assistant.
Under the terms of the new agreement, the baseline salary for a kindergarten or school assistant will rise to NIS 7,200. Similarly, the baseline salary for personal or medical assistants working with students will increase to NIS 7,000, and special education aides will see their baseline salary rise to NIS 8,000.
In addition to these changes, a seniority bonus will be introduced. Education assistants will receive an extra 50 shekels per month for each year of seniority, up to a maximum of 40 years. This means that long-serving aides could experience an additional increase of approximately NIS 2,000 in their salaries.
Furthermore, the agreement establishes a mechanism for recognizing professional development. Education assistants will have the opportunity to receive supplementary compensation for engaging in training and development programs.
Additionally, the agreement includes attendance-related bonuses. A monthly grant of up to NIS 600 will be provided for maintaining good attendance, and an annual grant of NIS 1,000 will be given to an education assistant who has used only 10 days of sick leave. Moreover, if an assistant substitutes for a kindergarten teacher, they will receive an extra NIS 200 in salary for each working day.
This agreement marks a significant milestone in improving the conditions and compensation for education assistants, paving the way for a more robust and well-regarded profession in the field of education support.