MK Yifat Shasha-Biton
MK Yifat Shasha-Biton Flash 90

Israel's schools may not start the new school year on September 1, due to a crisis between the teachers' unions and the Finance Ministry.

Speaking to 103 FM Radio, Arik Kaplan, head of the Parents Organization in Jerusalem, slammed Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton (National Unity) for her position in the crisis.

"It's very sad that she is in favor of the teachers," Kaplan said. "Sometimes we get the feeling that the Education Minister is replacing [Israel Teachers Union Secretary General Yaffa] Ben -David. She needs to explain to the teachers' unions that they must be flexible."

He added, "From my perspective, Prime Minister [Yair] Lapid is at fault. He needs to tell [Finance Minister Avigdor] Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) and Yaffa Ben-David, 'On September 1, children are in school at 8:00a.m. Sit together until you agree on all the details.'"

Speaking to Kan Reshet Bet, Shasha-Biton said Wednesday, "I feel like the Finance [Ministry] does not want to reach an agreement after so many months. We must stop with this chronic [issue] of leaving the parents and children in such suspense until the start of the school year."

"We are two weeks before the start of the school year, and they are talking with us about a strike and preventive orders. Whoever talks about this now is saying unashamedly that he has no intention of reaching an agreement on salaries."

According to Shasha-Biton, "There is no budgetary limit, there is money in the treasury for this agreement. We really are not demanding a lot of money. Even what we are demanding is a huge compromise. We are demanding what is needed in order to fix what is distorted in the educational system."

Three weeks ago, the Education Ministry presented a plan to improve teachers' salaries and solve the manpower crisis in the schools. The plan was formulated following meetings between Education Ministry and Finance Ministry representatives, as well as other professionals.