Rosh Haayin music teachers and WAC acting as their Representative Union Organization, have signed yesterday, July 21st, on a collective agreement that regulates both their wages as well as their work conditions. This agreement is a result of prolonged negotiations between WAC and The Organization for Social Services which is responsible for the Center and the Rosh Haayin municipality. The agreement was signed in initials, pending the approval of the Ministry of Finance Salary Officer in charge. Once approved, the agreement will be implemented retroactively from January 1st, 2015.
The music teachers’ committee was a full partner in this agreement. The music teachers main achievements in this agreement include: immediate average salary increase of 15%, yearly salary increase based on seniority/academic degrees/professional achievements, as well as payment for the month of August. One of the main achievements of the agreement is the correction of the senior teachers’ salaries, many of whom have been employed for over 20 years on a very low salary and will get now a significant increase.
The collective agreement means secure employment for Rosh Haayin music teachers, who have suffered from low wages, no promotion, and no payments during vacations like most music teachers in the country. This collective agreement is an important precedent for similar music centers in other cities, where music teachers’ are employed as freelancers, with no continuity and no social benefits.
Orit Guryi, member of the teachers’ committee, said: “I’m extremely pleased, because I feel this agreement expresses appreciation for our work, and formulates clear criteria for teachers’ advancement. I’m glad that the mayor has accepted this challenge and I hope that music teachers throughout the country will follow this precedent, unite and will struggle in order to improve the status of music teachers on a national level”.
During almost 2 years of negotiations WAC has declared a work dispute, and declared and staged a 2 days strike on November 2014. The struggle has included a “protest” concert performed in front of the City Hall, and the teachers were invited to participate in the city council meeting. It was there and then that the mayor Shalom Ben Moshe expressed his commitment to improve their salary and work conditions, and has promised to correct the past injustice.