After 13 years, 95,000 teachers rejoin Histadrut
The 95,000-member Teachers Union has rejoined the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel), which it quit in 1997. The two unions signed a special cooperation agreement.
The agreement has far-reaching consequences. Teachers can now participate in Histadrut-led strikes in the country, and the Histadrut can take organized action, including strikes, in favor of the teachers. This is an important achievement for Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini and Teachers Union chairman Yossi Wasserman.
For example, if the Histadrut decides to launch a general strike over public sector salaries, or in support of a strike at the seaports, ministries, or Ben Gurion Airport, the teachers can join in. This will greatly strengthen the Histadrut's bargaining power. Under the agreement, Wasserman will become a member of the Histadrut's management and of its coordination committee, which declares labor disputes.
"This is a historic agreement and a historic moment," said Eini at the joint press conference with Wasserman at Histadrut House in Tel Aviv. "Education is of supreme importance, and it's important that the government not only talk about it, but actually do something."
Eini told "Globes" that the timing of the agreement was not coincidental, in view of the negotiations over public sector salaries. "We're signaling the government that we're coming as a united front."
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