Sunday's Social Worker's Protest _311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Almost a year after they went on strike for a month, thousands of social workers
employed by outsourced NGOs and private companies for the Health and Welfare
ministries still haven’t received promises wage increases.
social worker in this kind of job earns about NIS 30 per hour.
association of social workers in voluntary organizations conducted a survey of
members to learn how many of them received the wage increases they won as a
result of the strike. The association said that 75 percent of them received no
pay raise since the end of the strike, even though government social workers
employed by the Welfare and Social Services Ministry and the Health Ministry
The social workers employed by the voluntary organizations and
for-profit companies to rehabilitate psychiatric patients said that they would
like to be government employees, but that it was the ministries that insisted
their jobs be outsourced and refused any connection with the social workers so
there was no legal employer-employee relationship with them.
association complained two weeks ago to the Health Ministry, which arranged a
meeting with director- general Prof. Ronni Gamzu, and senior manpower official
Dov Fast, together with the Histadrut labor federation’s Yitzhak Perry, who
deals with social worker issues.
Fast told The Jerusalem Post that the
non-profit organizations “signed a contract with the ministry in which they
commit themselves to pay their workers the salaries they must pay.”
added that periodically, the voluntary organizations’ and private companies'
allocations were updated, without connection to wage increases required by
agreements reached after strikes, just as the per diem hospitalization rate in
public hospitals was raised from time to time. Thus, he said, the non-profit
organizations and private companies must cover the wage increases without
receiving special allocations connected to a strike.
“We are checking
with the Histadrut to find out which paid the increases and which did not, and
we may cancel our outsourcing contracts with those that did not meet the
conditions of the contracts and choose others instead,” Fast said.
if, when and by how much the allocations to the non-profit organizations were
increased since the strike, Fast said he did not know. “All suppliers of
services to the ministry must carry out the conditions of the contracts they
signed,” he said.
Inbal Shlosberg, chairman of Amuta, which represents
5,000 social workers who do contractual work, said that some of the social
workers were paid extra, but most weren’t.
About 9,000 social workers are
state employees without this problem.
“We prefer to be state employees,
but the government doesn’t have job slots,” said Shlosberg, a social worker
employed by the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council. “Our situation is like that of
the office cleaners in state offices who are paid by contractors.”
11% of the social workers are men. If the majority were men, who are regarded as
the family’s main breadwinners, social workers would probably be better paid,
The ministries supervise services, but not the wages of the
professionals who provide services to the government from the outside, she
Shlosberg said the social workers were planning a struggle to
finally get their pay raises.