Social workers set to widen sanctions

The Social Workers Union, which represents more than 7000 welfare workers, announced Wednesday that it will widen its current sanctions and, if its demands are not met within the next week, will advise its workers to not meet with the public at all. The union is demanding that the Ministry of Welfare and Social Services hire more social workers to ease case-loads, which currently stand at roughly 200-400 per social worker. For the past two months, social workers have taken limited action such as not assigning elderly people to old-age homes and not finding alternative placements for infants and young children at risk. This week's increased sanctions will include no internal decision-making meetings. Minister of Welfare and Social Services Isaac Herzog said this week that he supports the union's demands but claims not to have the budget to address manpower shortages. He is currently holding negotiations with representatives of the treasury.