Local Authorities meet with Yishai to end strike

Union representative says Local Authorities are waiting for a meeting with PMO director-general.

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)
Representatives of the Union of Local Authorities met with Interior Minister Eli Yishai Tuesday in order to outline their demands to reach a deal for ending the strike the union began Monday, Army Radio reported.
Despite Yishai's declaration Tuesday morning that the strike would end the same day, municipal employees continued to stay off the job in what a representative said was a "full-participation strike" after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejected the demands drafted following meetings with the Interior Minister Monday.
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Ending the strike will allow discussions with the Prime Minister's Office director-general with the aim of presenting recommendations to Netanyahu on solving the Local Authorities' problems within a month, Yishai told Israel Radio Tuesday.
Union representative Itzhik Roseberg told Army Radio Tuesday that the the Local Authorities, responsible for
parking inspectors, school bus drivers, garbage collectors, welfare services staff, security guards at educational institutions and meat and fish inspectors are "waiting for a meeting with PMO director-general."
Until then, he cautioned, the strike would remain active. "It's not over until it's over," he said. A walk through any Tel Aviv street attested to the Roseberg's warning, as trash spilled over urban litter bins, and plastic trash bags collected as rainwater flowed through the city.
According to Roseberg, who maintained a sense of urgency while speaking optimistically about ending the strike soon and on favorable terms, the outstanding issue is 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.
A representative of the Union of Local Authorities said Monday that the strike would continue until Netanyahu approved the understanding reached between the sides.