Hundreds of Social Workers Protest Across Israel, Threaten General Strike

Protesters, holding signs with slogans expressing frustration over low salaries, heavy workloads and violence against them, demonstrated in dozens of cities

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Social workers protesting in Tel Aviv, July 2, 2020.
Social workers protesting in Tel Aviv, July 2, 2020.Credit: The Israel Union of Social Workers

Hundreds of social workers demonstrated on Thursday morning across Israel, some blocking major junctions, against their unfair working conditions, threatening to go on a general strike and shut down all social services starting Monday.

The protesters, who held signs with slogans expressing frustration over low salaries, heavy workloads and violence practiced against them, demonstrated in dozens of cities across Israel including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Be’er Sheva and others.

Last week, social workers marched from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and protested outside the Knesset.

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The Israel Union of Social Workers announced its intention to strike because of “the collapse of social services” and the lack of progress in negotiations with the Finance Ministry regarding salaries.

Social workers are expected to go on strike in the social services, education and health ministries, local governments, National Insurance Institute, Prisoner Rehabilitation Authority, units providing services to the courts, boarding schools and pregnancy termination committees. New welfare service cases will not be opened either.

Inbal Hermoni, the chairwoman of the social workers union, said: “A thousand social work jobs are standing empty because no one is interested in filling them because of the workload, the plague of violence and the shameful salaries. Treasury officials want to break social services and close them down.”

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