Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Occupational Therapy in the Israeli School System

It's been a while since I spoke to a certain colleague and it was nice to catch up. During the course of conversation, this occupational therapist (OT) who is now retired from the Special Education System in Israel shared the following regarding finding work in OT withing the governmental special education.

There are certain offices one can go to in order to sign up for finding work. One needs ones degree approved by both Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health. Once it is approved you can put your name on the list to hear of positions coming available.

When asking what the going rate is for salaries, she stated that the salary is dependent on ones years of experience and which of these years of experience are recognized by the Ministry of Education. e.g. if you have worked privately overseas, these years will not be recognized unless you worked for a private clinic not your own and received a salary.

There is a time process for the Ministry of Education to decide where you fit into the salary scale. You have to work for the Ministry of Education in one of the special education schools in order to ascertain what salary scale you fit into. During this process you will not receive any salary even though you are working.

When asked how long the process takes, is it a week, a few weeks? The answer given was, at least 4 months. There is no altering this time span. If you wish to work in the governmental education system you must make arrangement for your financial needs outside of your salary. Once you have worked for a month or two you can apply for an advance on your salary which will probably be a percentage of 25% - 50%, however you must be able to wait to be paid for at least 4 months.

After the 4 months you will be eligible for your salary and certain benefits, however you will only know what you will be paid monthly once the 4 month period is up. That means, if you need to know your salary prior to applying for a job for budgeting purposes, you are unlikely to be given this information until 4 months into your working without a salary. If at the end of the 4 months you find that the salary they offer you does not meet your financial requirements for your family etc, you will either have to find additional work in your spare time or find alternative work.

Keep in mind, if you move out of the governmental education system during the 4 month period and later wish to come back to it, you will need to go through the same 4 months waiting to be paid, it appears this is the case even if they had decided previously where you fit in the salary scale in case factors may have altered your position or elligibility to be paid a certain salary.

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