Social Workers 311.
(photo credit: RUTH EGLASH)
The Union of Local Authorities announced on Thursday that they would commence a
general strike next Tuesday if an agreement is not reached with the striking
social workers by Monday.
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The decision was reached at the organization’s
general assembly meeting, and will include all municipal services except for
Many social workers have been striking since
Sunday in demand of better salaries and conditions.
authorities are forced into striking since the social work is at the core of the
services we provide our residents,” Union Chairman Shlomo Buhbut said. “We
demand, of course, full compensation for any agreement that will be
Talks between representatives of the social workers and the
Finance Ministry broke down Wednesday night after both sides could not agree on
how the state-funded NGOs would pay the raise.
According to the offer,
the 5,000 social workers employed by NGOs (commissioned by the state to provide
welfare services), will get a raise bringing their salary to roughly NIS
However, there are also some 10,000 social workers employed
directly by the state, or local authorities.
Meanwhile, President Shimon
Peres praised the social workers on Thursday in an address to a group of
students taking part in the National Union of Israeli Students’ leadership
seminar in Jerusalem.
“Social workers chose their vocation not because of
the career it offers, but out of a sense of mission, and they face a harsh
front,” the president said. “The state should treat them with true respect, and
a salary that would enable these people to fulfill their mission.”
petition signed by 144 professors of social work from various Israeli colleges
and universities has also been signed in support of the social
“I hope it will show our students that we support them, and
that’s the most important thing,” said Asher Ben-Arieh, a senior lecturer at the
Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social
Ben-Arieh attended two demonstrations by striking social workers
in Jerusalem – and some of his colleagues have also joined the rallies in
Jerusalem and other cities.
“I just hope they will remain strong, and if
they do, they will eventually get their demands,” said Ben-Arieh, who collected
all the signatures.