4,000 Karev Program employees can leave the picket line. After a lengthy campaign they can rest assured that their jobs, and their students, are secured. MoF and MoE announced today that a budgetary source was found and the school year will be opened as intended. This announcement followed an impressive show of union solidarity, utilizing commitment between workers to create greater leverage on decision makers.
Earlier this week the chair of the Maof Histadrut, Gil Bar-Tal, announced that he would declare a labor dispute for supplementary staff in the education system, including student aid, maintenance staff, and secretaries – who will not start teaching September 1st, when school is set to begin.
Without a stable government in the Knesset, the budget for the Karev program the program was in danger of closing, meaning that these four thousand employees were in danger of losing their jobs, and their students would be deprived of their varied enrichment programs.
The Karev Program offers enrichment classes and courses in schools and kindergartens, aiming to offer equal opportunities for Israelis in different sectors of Israeli society, with an emphasis on disadvantaged populations, mainly in the country's geographic and social periphery. The program is operated for the Ministry of Education by the Community Centers Association and the Association for a Change in Education and founded by the Rashi Foundation.
The program counts some 300,000 students in 125 localities throughout the country as participants. 4,000 employees run the different courses that the program provides. They offer programming including art and music classes, instruction in environmental science, technology, film, theater and life skills.
In a letter sent by the Bar-Tal to Haim Bibbs, the chair of the Federation of Local Authorities and the mayor of the city of Modi'in-Maccabim-Reut, Bar-Tal wrote: “The director general of the Ministry of Education and the director general of the Ministry of Finance do not believe that 4,000 workers whose work is crucial to support students in the periphery [of the country] are important enough for them to devote their time and find a creative solution."