Local authorities meeting gets underway after delay

Negotiations being held after flare-up between local authority representatives and Finance Ministry over who would attend meeting.

municipality protest 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
municipality protest 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The meeting between the heads of local councils and Finance Minister representatives set underway Friday after an initial flare-up between the sides threatened to stop negotiations.
The Union of Local Authorities announced that the blow-up happened after representatives from the finance minister's office only let in three of the 10 representatives sent by the union.
As he left the finance minister's office, the representative of the union's negotiating team, Yossi Nishli said: "The Finance Minister cannot determine who can attend the meeting, he is not the head of the Union of Local Authorities," reported Army Radio.
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Following the incident, the local council heads as well as the director-general of the union, Shlomo Buhbut and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, decided to leave the finance minister's office immediately.
The local authority heads announced that, as of now, a general strike will be held on Sunday in all the local authorities except in Haifa and Jerusalem, and will continue until further notice.
Earlier Friday, Buhbut told Israel Radio that the strike expected to begin Sunday will be stopped only if Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz sets out, among other things, to decrease water prices and increase by NIS 500 million the budget for schools and by NIS 600m. the budget for local authorities.
According to Buhbut, the strike will be held by all union employees, including employees in schools, kindergartens, and garbage collection and gardening services.