Social workers in Israel announce open-ended strike

Social workers in Israel announce open-ended strike

The Social Workers Union of Israel announced Monday that it was moving ahead with an allout strike, to begin this coming Sunday, after negotiations with the Treasury over a pay increase and better work conditions failed to yield results, newspaper the Jerusalem Post reported.

"We are talking about a justified battle to improve the conditions and pay of those who do the most important work in our society," Histadrut labor federation chairman Ofer Eini said in a statement.

Union head Itzhik Perry explained that the social workers had no choice but to go on strike after the Treasury "pushed us into a corner."

The open-ended strike will include more than 10,000 social workers who work in the public sector assisting a wide variety of people, from children and youth at risk to the elderly.

"We are very upset that this could not be resolved without a strike," commented veteran social worker Margarita Slov, who has been working in the field for more than 17 years.

"When I made aliya from the former Soviet Union, I made a conscious decision to study social work because I wanted to help society and become an agent of change," the 45-year-old mother of five told The Jerusalem Post. "But if we do not stand up for our own rights, then how can we stand up for the rights of others? How can we sit before the weaker segments of the population, hear their woes and cries for help, if we ourselves feel there is no justice in society and that the work we do is not appreciated enough?" Slov, who recently trained as a youth welfare officer and has worked in the Karmiel social welfare department for the past five years, said that her base salary was less than NIS 6,000 a month, with additional income support of NIS 260.

"I am as high as I can go in terms of my salary and my position," said the former single mother, who spent several years living below the poverty line despite earning an income, before remarrying.

"Today, I have a partner who earns more than me and can support me, but I will never forget the years I spent as a single mother," recalled Slov. "I asked my boss for permission to take on extra work at night to make up the salary, but he refused, leaving only the black market as a way to make money. I did not want to work illegally, so I was forced to suffer."

Slov added, "We are really fed up with this situation; we have lost our patience."

As part of the social workers' battle, the union created a Facebook page where social workers could air their grievances.

Slov contributed to the online fight by writing, "As social workers, we have a very giving nature. Even as we fight for our own rights, we are also trying to be giving; we did not want to launch this strike in the summer or during the Jewish festivals. We are always worried that we will hurt the people we are supposed to be helping, but if we don't start giving ourselves some respect, then how can we expect others to respect us?" MK Haim Katz (Likud), chairman of the Knesset's Labor, Social Affairs and Health Committee, called for an emergency meeting Tuesday morning to discuss the strike and its implications for the wider community. Those invited to speak at the hearing include recently inaugurated Welfare and Social Services Minister Moshe Kahlon.

In a statement released Monday, Kahlon said, "I back up the social workers' demands to improve their salaries and conditions of employment. They stand at the forefront of the social struggle confronting the most difficult hardships. In a country where every fifth family requires social services, it is unfair that social workers do not receive the proper compensation for their work."

He warned that "consequences of a strike could be very severe, and we must make every effort to prevent disabling these services."

A statement from Kahlon's office said he and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz held marathon talks late Monday in an attempt to avoid the strike.

Iran, Russia to cooperate on COVID-19 vaccine development
Iran, Russia to cooperate on COVID-19 vaccine development
Number of people infected with coronavirus pandemic in Iran exceeds 900,000
Number of people infected with coronavirus pandemic in Iran exceeds 900,000
Iran to buy 42 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Iran to buy 42 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine
Loading Bars
Latest
Prime Minister Modi inaugurates RE-Invest 2020
TAP is operational and can deliver gas, says managing director
Uzbek Anti-Crisis Fund expenses up due to extended COVID-9 resistance
Ruling coalition in Germany stands for Berlin’s participation in promoting peace in Nagorno-Karabakh
Azerbaijani gymnasts in group exercises reach final of European Championship in Ukraine
Azerbaijan's labor ministry, Azermash Group LLC sign tender contract
Iran reduces imports of chemicals from Turkey
Plastic cards becoming more popular in Kazakhstan
Turkish Ombudsman Institution prepares special report on Armenia's war crimes against Azerbaijan
Turkmenistan prepares project aimed at developing energy diplomacy
Uzbekistan’s 10M2020 production of chemical products revealed
Azerbaijan Insurers Association calls on citizens to annually renew insurance contracts
Russian Tatneft eyeing butadiene production in co-op with Kazakhstan
ICAO to include Azerbaijan's three airfields in new list of int'l geographical coordinates
Georgia becomes most popular exporter of Uzbek beans
Construction of new water reservoirs in Uzbekistan to improve water supply of land areas
Azerbaijan's ten-month import of grains, legumes from Turkey up
Turkish TPAO to expand oil, gas exploration zone
Azerbaijani TS Motors LLC wins tender on tire purchases
Georgia sees record increase in COVID-19 cases
Turkmen State Service of Maritime and River Transportation working to attract foreign investment
Gas market concept under discussion in Georgia
French Senate Resolution is blow to French interests in South Caucasus - Center for Economic Reforms Analysis
Direct flights on the Baku-Minsk route to be resumed
Azerbaijan's High-Tech Park records new resident companies
Uzbek, South Korean foreign ministers discuss strengthening of economic ties
Russia to produce over 100 million doses of world’s first COVID-19 vaccine in India
Use of electronic state services in Azerbaijan grows
Land plots for agricultural producers to be allocated from special fund in Turkmenistan
Kazakh import of steel from Turkey almost halves in 10M2020
All wells at Zenith Energy’s former assets in Azerbaijan put under conservation
Number of requests related to computer security in Azerbaijan down
Kazakhstan's Pavlodar region eyes to annually increase meat production
Baku Higher Oil School, Tallinn University of Technology sign cooperation agreement
Prices of Azerbaijani oil drop
Overall deposits dollarization decreases in Kazakhstan
Record-breaking average cotton yield observed in Azerbaijan
SOCAR says 94% of Azerbaijan’s jet fuel production went to domestic market
UAE - Kazakhstan trade turnover up
Azerbaijani currency rates for Nov. 27
ADB to support road safety project in Azerbaijan
Oil mixed as rally falters over supply concerns, vaccine doubts
SOCAR reveals volume of gas injection into storages
Kazakh oilfield construction company opens tender to buy construction materials
Turkmenistan to conclude additional agreement to increase flow rate of oil wells
FMs of Azerbaijan, Italy discuss latest situation in region
Uzbekistan reveals COVID-19 data for November 27
India ready to cooperate with Turkmenistan in supply of raw materials, finished products
French Senate's demarche laughable, shouldn't be taken seriously - Israeli expert
Greek share in Azerbaijan's total export up over 10M2020
OSCE says it has role to play in post-conflict rehabilitation in Karabakh
Automobile Exhibitors Union of Iran talks imported car pricing
Volume of loans in Azerbaijan grows
Iran's railway network to connect to Turkey through Urmia
Iran's automakers to set prices on domestic products
Share of Italy in total exports of Azerbaijan rises
Imposed restrictions further aggravate economy growth forecast in Georgia - Minister
FAO launches new system of animal identification and registration in Georgia
Britain to curb Google and Facebook with tougher competition rules
Japan's ruling party to propose big spending on green investment: draft
Turkey reports over 29,000 new coronavirus cases
813 more coronavirus cases recorded in Kazakhstan over 24 hours
Kazakhstan increases export to Greece despite COVID-19
World Bank to help Ukraine purchase COVID-19 vaccines
Sweden to reach COVID-19 peak in two weeks: forecast
Imports of fuels and lubricants up to Georgia
Trump says will leave White House if Electoral College votes for Biden
Moscow documents 77 deaths from COVID-19 in past 24 hours
WHO urges African states to strengthen readiness for COVID-19 vaccine
UK records another 17,555 coronavirus cases with 498 cases
China calls for healthy, stable military ties with U.S.
Italy reports 29,003 new coronavirus cases, 822 deaths - health ministry
Russia's Sputnik V developers call on AstraZeneca to try combining vaccines
Paris does not recognize so-called "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic" - Foreign Ministry
Recovery of oil prices has positive impact on Kazakhstan’s external balances - IHS Markit
Group of German medical experts arrives in Kyrgyzstan to fight COVID-19
Georgian NCDC Head urges people over 70 to stay at home except in necessary circumstances
Iran, Russia to cooperate on COVID-19 vaccine development
Bitcoin price down 12.7%
Armenian eco-terror in Karabakh constitute serious threat to peace and security in region - opinion
Hungary, Poland double down to try to eject rule-of-law condition from EU budget
Over 3,500 coronavirus-related deaths recorded in Moscow in October
Belavia resumes regular flights from Baku to Minsk in early December
Iran hopes Kish-Istanbul-Abadan flights to improve its trade
Kazakhstan Railways opens tender to buy welding equipment
Georgia to support businesses amid new coronavirus restrictions
WB extends deadline for implementation of agricultural project in Azerbaijan
Turkey steps up inspections as coronavirus pandemic figures climb
Cavushoglu and Stoltenberg discuss situation in Karabakh
Swedish royals test positive for COVID-19
England reveals new regional COVID tiers in fight against coronavirus
Azerbaijani gymnasts reach finals of 36th European Championship in Ukraine
Georgia continues to support its citizens amid COVID-19 pandemic
News on return of Azerbaijani soldier captured by Armenians false, relative says
Azerbaijan sends note of protest to France
Ample opportunities for investments to be created in Karabakh – minister
Azerbaijani's negotiations with UAE on renewables nearing completion
Kazakhstan, Mongolia eye signing roadmap for trade, economic co-op
Russia bans import of tomatoes from Uzbekistan’s Fergana region
36th COMCEC session opens under chairmanship of Turkish president (PHOTO)
All news