Social workers’ strike goes on as latest wage talks stall

Union spokesman tells 'Post' Finance Ministry offered no mechanisms to ensure state-funded NGOs would indeed pay proposed salaries.

Social workers protest in the North 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Social workers protest in the North 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Yet another round of talks between social workers and the Finance Ministry came to an abrupt end late Wednesday night after the sides failed to reach agreement on a wage hike for social workers employed by NGOs.
Social Workers Union spokesman David Golan told The Jerusalem Post that while the Finance Ministry proposed a minimum wage of NIS 6,000 for these employees, it offered no mechanisms to ensure that the state-funded NGOs would indeed pay such salaries.
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“We cannot agree to that, and are forced to enter the fifth day of our strike,” Golan said.
Earlier on Wednesday evening, Union of Local Authorities chairman Shlomo Buhbut announced he would bring to his organization’s general assembly meeting on Thursday a resolution to launch a general strike.
The social workers’ strike is causing the municipalities to buckle under the pressure their absence has created, Buhbut explained.
The Wednesday night talks, which included Welfare and Social Services Minister Moshe Kahlon, Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen, and representatives of the Histadrut labor federation and the Social Workers Union, focused on mechanisms that would equalize the wages of social workers employed by NGOs that provide services outsourced to them by the state.
The Finance Ministry agreed on Tuesday to a dramatic increase in the salaries of some 5,000 social workers employed and paid by NGOs that receive state funding. There are another 10,000 social workers employed by the state and local authorities, whose conditions are currently somewhat better than those working for the NGOs.
Talks on the wages and working conditions of those employed by the state have yet to begin.