Deal to Be Signed to Prevent Security Directors’ Strike

YERUSHALAYIM -
A view of the security fence in Shlomit, near the Gaza/Israel border. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

An agreement is set to be signed by unions representing security directors at hundreds of Jewish towns in Yehudah, Shomron and border communities, thus alleviating a strike that was set to begin next week. In a joint statement with the Defense Ministry and the local authorities, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said “I have instructed the ministry to reinforce its agreements with the security directors, and I congratulate all sides for coming to the agreement. Under the agreement, the amount of money to be transferred to local authorities will be increased, enabling them to pay security directors as required.”

Security directors had demanded that they be recognized as official employees or contractors of the Defense Ministry. That status would result in an improvement of the salaries and work conditions of the security directors.

The Histadrut Hale’umit labor union had been working on the matter for months, and several weeks ago the union declared a work dispute over the matter. Under Israeli labor laws, the declaration of a work dispute must precede a strike by two weeks, so if the issue had not been resolved, the security officials in 420 towns in Yehudah and Shomron, and in border communities in northern and southern Israel, would have walked off the job.

Shai Hajaj, head of the  local authority, said that “the agreement is an excellent one. I believe that the legislation being led by the head of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Avi Dichter, to ensure the status of security directors, will solve the problem permanently. The security directors are essential to security in hundreds of towns and they deserve the appropriate conditions.”