Steinitz: There is room to improve social workers' pay

Finance minister says solution to pay dispute on the horizon; Histadrut announces no progress made in negotiations with Finance Ministry.

311_Yuval Steinitz (photo credit: Tamar Matsafi)
311_Yuval Steinitz
(photo credit: Tamar Matsafi)
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Monday that he believed the dispute between Treasury representatives and social workers would be solved by next week.
"There is room for improvement in the workers' wages," said Steinitz, who added that he had advised representatives "to act with understanding and sympathy to solve the problem."
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"The parties have agreed on two principles - the need to improve the wages of workers and the need to distinguish between those who earn a good wage and those who earn less," Steinitz said.
Steinitz was speaking after the Histadrut announced earlier on Monday that no progress was made in negotiations between social workers and representatives from the Finance Ministry.
The reason for the lack of progress in the negotiations is the Treasury's refusal to give a positive answer about increasing salaries and workers in private organizations, the Histadrut said.
Meanwhile, 150 social workers gathered in Jerusalem's Zion Square to protest against their salaries. A number of students also joined the social workers' struggle.
Almost 150 emergency calls to social services were turned down and countless welfare programs remained closed on Sunday as social workers countrywide started their first full day of strike action after the government refused their demands for a salary increase and improved work conditions.
“All social welfare services were closed on Sunday and we had a 100 percent strike,” said David Golan, spokesman for the Social Workers Union.