Local Authorities announce end of strike

Agreements signed in meeting between union and PMO director-general, Harel Loker.

Trash piles up during Local Authorities strike 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Trash piles up during Local Authorities strike 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Municipal workers will get back to work Tuesday after the Union of Local Authorities reached a deal with the Prime Minister's Office effectively ending a two-day nationwide strike.
Union representatives met with PMO Director-General Harel Loker Tuesday, reaching agreements on linchpin issues that caused the strike.
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The agreements included lowering value-added tax on water for the low-income population and the freezing of planned alterations to the property tax that would have affected the Local Authorities' budget, according to Army Radio.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai welcomed the agreement, and thanked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for responding to the requirements of the nation's mayors and local councils, according to the report.
Representatives of the Union of Local Authorities met also with Interior Minister Eli Yishai Tuesday in order to outline their demands to reach a deal for ending the strike the union began Monday.
Union representative Itzhik Roseberg expressed optimism prior to the meetings Tuesday that an end to the strike was imminent.
According to Roseberg, the outstanding issue was with the cancellation of 16-percent  value added tax on water. Most other issues had been agreed upon, he said.
On Monday, Yishai's representatives met with the Union of Local Authorities and said progress had been made to end the strike. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, however, rejected the understandings reached, saying they would cost billions of shekels and calling the Local Authorities' demands "unrealistic."
Yishai said that the understandings he reached with representatives of the Union of Local Authorities will not cost billions of shekels, as Netanyahu said Monday. The interior minister said that the demands of the local authorities are justified but that time is is needed to solve the problems.