social workers - Emil Salman - March 28 2011
Striking Social Workers at the National Labor Court in Jerusalem, March 28, 2011. Photo by Emil Salman
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The Social Workers' Union has accepted the deal agreed upon by representatives of the Histadrut labor federation and the Finance Ministry 12 days ago, with only minor changes, after a strike that lasted 23 days.

The Social Workers' Union apparently accepted the deal that was struck because they feared that Labor Court judges would issue an injunction against the strikers if the two sides did not come to an agreement.

For much of their strike, hundreds of social workers had been holding daily demonstrations and using Facebook to protest and rally support against the terms being negotiated by representatives of the union umbrella organization and the Finance Ministry.

Last week, the Social Workers' Union rejected the compromise wage agreement worked out between the Histadrut labor federation and the Finance Ministry, sending the parties back to the bargaining table and preventing an end to the strike. The central committee of the union had voted against the contract offer 14 to 13.

The new agreement, which has been forwarded to National Labor Court President Nili Arad for final approval, is almost the same as the original deal voted on 12 days ago, with only minor changes.

In exchange for cancelling the addition of an hour and a half to the work week, which was included in the original deal struck, the social workers' salary increase will be reduced from NIS 1100 to NIS 1000, an increase of only 22% instead of 25%. The clothing salary supplement was also dropped from the deal.