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Workers protest Holocaust survivors hostel privatization
Caregivers demand nationalization of Pardesiya hostel, state employee status; Welfare Services dir.-gen. supports cause.
Hostel workers protested the privatization of the hostel for Holocaust survivors in Pardesiya, in a demonstration outside the Prime Minister Office in Jerusalem on Sunday, Army Radio reported.

Dror Israel Movement activists were set to join the social workers in their demand to nationalize the hostel, and be absorbed as state employees, which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had previously promised, they claimed.

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Welfare and Social Services Ministry Director-General Nachum Itzkovitz told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday he strongly backs the workers' demands

Speaking by phone from New York, Itzkovitz – who four years ago headed an inter-ministry that monitored the implementation of government decisions on Holocaust survivors and improved their quality of life – said they deserved the best possible care.

“Survivors, especially those living in hostels, have the most complicated conditions. We in the ministry never agreed to the privatization of caregiver services three years ago.

There are services that don’t have to be provided by state workers, such as administration. But those employees who give direct care to the needy, such as the survivors, need their caregivers to be state workers so they can devote their work hours to them and don’t have to worry about job security,” Itzkovitz said.

Friday saw the first day of sanctions at the Lev Hasharon hostel by 100 caregivers for aging Holocaust survivors demanding government rather than contractual worker status,

The caregivers at the hostel in Pardesiya said initially they would provide only partial services to the survivors, but if their demands were not met, they would regretfully launch a fully-fledged strike. They said when the government changes contractors for the project, they are at risk of dismissal.

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