municipality protest 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Hundreds of local authority employees held demonstrations at nine major traffic
intersections across Israel on Wednesday, to call for an end to government cuts
in local municipality budgets.
The protests began at 9 a.m. and
went on for an hour, blocking traffic at junctions from Yad Mordechai in the
South to the Golani junction in the Western Galilee.
Linda Sasson, a
spokeswoman for the Union of Local Authorities, told The Jerusalem Post
Wednesday that the protest was being held because the local authorities were
being asked to carry a larger and larger burden, while the funds they received
from the government remained the same.
“The local councils are asked to
provide services like welfare and education that the state government should
give. The government has privatized services and shifted the responsibility to
the local authorities, but forgot to give them the money they need to meet these
obligations,” she said.
Sasson said the union was demanding a drop in
water prices, and a budget increase of NIS 500 million for schools and NIS 600m.
for local authorities.
The money was slashed from the national budget in
recent years, and the union says such cuts have dramatically affected its
According to Sasson, there are currently 22 local authorities
in Israel that are having serious problems paying the salaries of their
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When asked if the Finance Ministry had responded to their
demands, she replied that the ministry had completely ignored them.
Tuesday, local authority employees held a surprise demonstration at the Income
Tax offices in south Tel Aviv, blocking the entry of workers.
the local authorities held a one-day strike across the country, in response to
what they called a breakdown in negotiations with the
Meanwhile, 46 local authorities, in which 2 million people
live, have submitted requests for funding to separate garbage at the source, the
Environmental Protection Ministry said Wednesday. The ministry has allocated NIS
600m. to assist in the recycling revolution, of which the 46 requests constitute
Source separation means separating garbage into “wet,” or
organic, garbage and “dry” garbage, which is paper, plastic, metal and other
materials. The ministry program accompanies the Packaging Bill approved for
final readings on Monday, which places responsibility for recycling product
packaging on the manufacturers and importers. The ministry funds can be used for
end solutions like transfer points, sorting stations or recycling plants, but
come with a commitment to move to source separation within three
Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem did not submit requests, but many
smaller cities, such as Arad, Beersheba, Eilat, Rosh Pinna and Dimona,
Ehud Zion Waldoks contributed to this report.
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