Social workers strike to continue as offer rejected

Histadrut tells social workers it conjured best offer from Finance Ministry; future negotiations will be direct between Ministry, workers.

Social Workers 311 (photo credit: RUTH EGLASH)
Social Workers 311
(photo credit: RUTH EGLASH)
The Social Workers Union have announced they will continue their strike Monday, after rejecting Sunday an offer submitted by the Finance Ministry regarding the employment conditions of workers.
Thirty representatives from the union held a meeting and decided to vote against ending the strike, which entered its third week on Sunday.
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The Histadrut reportedly told social workers that the agreement reached with the Finance Ministry was the best that the Histadrut could conjure, and that the social workers from now would be working with the Finance Ministry in direct negotiations.
Social Affairs Minister Moshe Kahlon called on the social workers Sunday to show a sense of responsibility and end the strike, saying that the true victims of the strike are the nearly 1.5 million people in need of welfare services, Israel Radio reported. He added that the agreement formulated by the Finance Ministry greatly improves employment conditions for socials workers.
Saturday night, nearly 300 social workers demonstrated in Tel Aviv at the intersection of Ibn Gabirol and Arlozorov streets.
The protesters briefly blocked the intersection and faced police threats of arrests.
Last week, Union head Itzik Perry detailed what appeared to be the outlines of the agreement. The 5,000 social workers employed by NGOs funded by the state will be now earning at least NIS 7,100, which is the average wage of a state-employed social worker with five years of experience.
Social workers employed directly by the state or municipalities number approximately 10,000, and the sides have already agreed on a raise of their wages by an average of 25 percent, including in it the 7.25% raise all state employees received last December, and another NIS 1,100. The social workers will also see a 2% raise in the money allocated by their employers for pensions and social benefits, from 17.5% to 19.5%, and receive a one-time grant of NIS 2,000.