Photo Credit: Gov.il
Israel's national labor court

The Tel Aviv Regional Labor Court on Sunday morning issued a ruling that could constitute a significant precedent in the fight against vaccine refusers. According to the labor court’s decision, a teacher’s assistant who worked at a kindergarten in Kochav Yair and refused to be vaccinated against Corona or undergo testing as required by the local authority will not be allowed to return to work and will not receive a salary.

Earlier this month, local municipalities and the Local Government Center appealed to the prime minister and to the health and education ministers to compel education workers to be vaccinated.

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“It is inconceivable that the right to privacy overcome the right of students, teachers, administrative staff and their families not to be infected with the coronavirus,” The heads of municipalities wrote. Similar demands were heard from other employers who announced that workers who were not vaccinated would not be allowed to come to work unless they presented negative corona tests.

The labor court ruled that the right of the aide not to be vaccinated does not take precedence over the welfare and health of the children, parents, and staff in the workplace.

This could be a precedent-setting case that would allow schools and local municipalities to prevent the entry of unvaccinated workers into the various institutions and absolve them of the burden of continuing to pay them at home. Over the past two months, as vaccinations have been reaching most of the adult population in Israel, municipalities and their institutions restricted their disciplinary action against employees who refused to be vaccinated to sending them home but with pay. Now the labor court’s decision may have altered the picture.

Municipalities have also offered vaccine refusers the option of taking the Corona test every other day at their own expense – which runs over $30 per test.

The teacher’s assistant’s lawyer issued a response saying, “We are sorry that the court accepted the position of the local council, and contend that the decision was made without authority and in violation of the law. At the same time, we welcome the decision of the court that accepted our position regarding the salary of the assistant and ordered the local council to pay her full salary to date. Beyond that, we will study the court’s decision, and consider appealing to the national labor court soon.”

The head of the Kochav Yair-Tzur Yigal local council, Yuval Arad, welcomed the decision, saying, “I am glad that the court ruled that the right to life, which is a fundamental right, overrides the teacher’s assistant’s right to dignity and privacy. The court’s decision strengthens the institution of head of a municipality in Israel.”

According to the Health Ministry, there were 285 new confirmed Corona patients on Saturday, based on 17,438 test results.

As of Sunday morning, there are 561 patients in serious condition, out of whom 199 are on respirators. A total of 6,085 have died since the outbreak of the pandemic.

To date, 5,162,636 have received the first dose of the vaccine, 4,523,828 the second.

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David writes news at JewishPress.com.