Israeli Local Authority Workers Set to Go on Strike Tuesday at Midnight

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Social workers demonstrating in November 2015 in front of the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem.
Social workers demonstrating in November 2015 in front of the Finance Ministry in Jerusalem.Credit: Emil Salman

Israel’s local authorities are set to launch an open-ended strike starting at midnight tonight.

The Histadrut labor federation decided two days ago to launch the strike after the Union of Local Authorities decided not to pay workers a one-time grant that had been called for in the Histadrut’s December agreement with the Finance Ministry.

Local authority workers did not receive the first part of the grant – 1,000 shekels ($250) – out of a total of 2,000 shekels per worker set to be paid by January 2017.

The Union of Local Authorities stated that it had warned the Finance Ministry and the Histadrut that new wage agreements would not be implemented, adding that it did not understand why local authority workers were getting raises while the Education Ministry’s budget was being cut, a move that would necessarily lead to thousands of secretaries and other local authority workers being laid off.

The Union of Local Authorities includes 201 towns and municipalities, and 49 regional councils. All big cities will be affected by the strike.

The strike, which includes 100,000 workers around the country, will include health workers, preschool assistants, planning board staff, religious authority workers, welfare department workers and school administrative staff. The special education system will not be affected. Parking fines will not be issued, and garbage will not be collected.

Hospitals will not be on strike, but Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and Bnei Zion Medical Center in Haifa will run on Shabbat schedules.

School will be held as scheduled, although some interruptions may occur due to the lack of administrative staff.

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