Israeli Social Workers Strike Could Spread

YERUSHALAYIM -
israel social workers strike
Israeli social workers protest their working conditions and violence against them, last week on Jaffa Street in Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Histadrut warned on Tuesday that if the social workers strike is not settled soon, other public sector employees might walk out in solidarity with them, The Times of Israel reported.

The Israel Union of Social Workers went out on an open-ended strike earlier this month after talks with the Finance Ministry failed to produce an agreement on pay and working conditions, including exposure to violence on the job.

The Histadrut said in a statement on Tuesday that the strike could spread to other sectors, but it did not elaborate.

Histadrut leader Arnon Bar-David pledged they would begin paying 1,000 shekels to all striking workers out of its strike fund in the coming days.

Inbal Hermoni, head of the Social Workers union dismissed a Finance Ministry offer as patently inadequate.

“We’ve been demanding change for ten years,” Hermoni told Ynet. “We are currently being offered a meager salary increase and a protection program that will expire in June 2021.”

The value of the salary increase offered was not disclosed, nor any details of the program to protect them against violence.

“Do they expect us to agree to be in the same position in another year’s time? The treasury keeps telling me that they understand, but I do not need their understanding — I need there to be functioning welfare services,” she said.

The Ministry reportedly told union representatives that it was unable to make any permanent offers due to the coronavirus pandemic.