Histadrut Declares Labor Dispute Over Unilateral Move to Abandon Hundreds of Informal Education Workers

Adi Marcus
Jun 06, 2024

UCAPSE Chairman Gil Bar-Tal today (Thursday) declared a labor dispute at the ‘Kehila Ve-Pnay’ Network, which operates various educational frameworks in Holon. The decision to declare the dispute follows the network’s announcement of the immediate and unilateral privatization of afterschool programs of daycare centers and schools, which entails layoffs of hundreds of employees.

The Histadrut views this move as a severe and offensive measure that violates collective agreements and severely harms the rights of hundreds of dedicated female employees.

The situation began in January 2023 when the network (affiliated with the Company for Community Centers) sought to reopen the collective agreement and modify several clauses. Negotiations were underway until May of this year and were reportedly in the final stages, on the verge of signing. However, due to the municipal elections, negotiations were halted. Elections resulted in Shay Kinnan, who serves as Chairman of the ‘Kehila Ve-Pnay’ Network Board of Directors, being elected as Holon’s mayor.

This week, Kinnan unexpectedly and unilaterally informed the network’s management of his decision to privatize daycare centers and schools. More concerning, the network has already begun sending layoff hearing notices to employees.

In response, the Histadrut declared a labor dispute, allowing employees to take collective action if the network does not rescind its decision.

Attorney Gil Bar-Tal, UCAPSE Chairman, stated: “The Holon Municipality is recklessly harming itself, infringing on the rights of employees, violating collective agreements, and behaving like the worst kind of employer. We intend to protect employees and their rights. Privatization will negatively impact the level of service provided to residents and the children in daycare centers.”

Mazal Damti, Unioin Secretary, who supports the network’s employees, of which the absolute majority are women, stated: “The network has veteran and loyal employees who, despite the demanding work and low pay, do their jobs out of love for the children. Moreover, they have earned recognition and appreciation from the system as well. Therefore, deciding to privatize daycare centers and schools and abandon these dedicated employees is outrageous. These hundreds of employees have been unilaterally abandoned, and we will do everything we can to protect them.”

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