Four teachers of a Brooklyn Hebrew school, three of them men and one a woman, have declared a strike and for four and one-half hours each evening are tramping back and forth in front of the school, the Yeshivath Torah M’Zion, 623 Stone avenue, with plaeards strung around their necks informing the public that the institution’s Board of Directors is unfair to organized labor. As far as could be learned, this is the first strike in many years involving Hebrew school teachers.
The quartet walked out on the school last Wednesday night in a dispute over wages. Their salaries were sixteen dollars a week and, according to the strikers, they “weren’t even sure of getting that.” The peak salary attained by the four was twenty-six dollars weekly. This, the picketers say, they received back in the days of “prosperity.”
The strike was precipitated when the dispute committee of the Central Committee of Hebrew Teachers’ Organizations, which embraces all of the Hebrew teachers unions in Greater New York, was asked by the four teachers to investigate their complaint against the school. An investigation by this body disclosed the fact that the teachers could be sufficiently well paid for their services from the tuition fees alone. There are 300 pupils in the school, ranging in age from six to fifteen. The four instructors taught them the regular Hebrew school curriculum and in addition Yeshiva subjects. Hours were from four to eight-thirty at night.
While the strike is in progress the school is shut-down. An attempt to win the sympathy and support of the pupils’ parents will be made by the striking quartet and their union at a meeting Sunday night to which the parents have been invited. The meeting, at which the dispute committee will be present, will be held in the synagogue at Christopher and Pitkin avenues, Brooklyn. Parents will be asked not to send their children to other schools pending settlement of the dispute.
BOARD REFUSES UNION OFFERS
The teachers are demanding a salary of twenty dollars weekly, which is to include the summer months and religious holiday vacations.
On the other side of the argument is the board of directors of the school. According to the president, Abraham Solowitz, the board is willing to settle the dispute. But, Mr. Solowitz adds, the board positively will not deal with the union. “We will settle with the teachers,” he informed the Jewish Daily Bulletin on the telephone Friday, “but we will have nothing to do with their union.”