Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton and Teacher's Union chief Yafa Ben-David

Teachers union calls snap strike after Israel axes COVID isolation for schools

Labor action call reportedly comes at behest of health officials who wish to postpone enactment of new outline until infections plateau; Education Ministry to file petitions to labor court for emergency injunction against strike

Adir Yanko, Tamar Trabelsi-Hadad |
Published: 01.27.22, 00:01
Teacher's Union chief Yafa Ben-David announced Wednesday evening that educators will not come to work the next day in protest of a government decision to do away with health control measures designed to minimize exposure to coronavirus in schools.
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  • "In light of the government's decision, which exposes you to coronavirus in a way that endangers your health and in the face of thousands of inquiries from you, we will protest measures tomorrow," Ben-David said in a statement issued for union members.
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    יפה בן דויד ויפעת שאשא ביטון
    יפה בן דויד ויפעת שאשא ביטון
    Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton and Teacher's Union chief Yafa Ben-David
    (Photo: Hadar Yoavian)
    "Do not go to schools and kindergartens tomorrow. Please wait for instructions regarding further protest measures. "
    This call for labor action came after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his government upheld last week's decision to no longer require school students to go into isolation after coming into contact with a confirmed coronavirus patient starting January 27 — a move which prompted vehement criticism from Health Ministry officials who called to postpone the enactment of the outline until the country's Omicron-induced tsunami of infections begins to plateau.
    According to reports on Hebrew media, Ben-David's statement came at the behest of Health Ministry Director of Public Health Services Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis.
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    מסיבת עיתונאים משרד הבריאות
    מסיבת עיתונאים משרד הבריאות
    Health Ministry Director of Public Health Services Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis
    (Photo: Yair Sagi)
    Education Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton, on her part, welcomed the decision.
    "We have made the right and best decision for the children in cooperation with the prime minister and the health minister," Shasha-Biton said.
    "Most experts agree on the enormous harm done to our children... Abolishing isolation for healthy children is our duty for their mental and physical health."
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    אורט רמת יוסף
    אורט רמת יוסף
    Students and teachers masked up in class at central Israel school during the COVID-19 pandemic
    (Photo: Kobi Koaneks)
    Education Ministry officials were planning on filing petitions to the National Labor Court for an emergency injunction against the wildcat strike.
    Meanwhile, the Israeli Pediatric Society, which previously supported the move, also said it deemed the new outline potentially dangerous as reports of children being hospitalized for complications of COVID-19 continue to mount.
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