Social workers declare a labor dispute after government announcement of privatization
The Union of Social Workers and the Histadrut have declared a labor dispute following the intention of the Ministries of Finance and Welfare to privatize the work of social workers that assess suitability for the treatment of violent men.
The union argues that outsourcing the service will contradict all professional logic and will harm the social service that can reduce the scope of domestic violence. They also argue that it will harm the status and protection of the social workers who are supposed to serve in the position.
The union is calling on Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and Welfare Minister Yaakov Margi to reconsider their decision and to allow the Ministry of Welfare to implement the law through civil servants.
The union’s chairwoman, Social Worker Inbal Harmoni, said: “30 jobs are all that is needed to ensure that every man who is removed from the home because of domestic violence will also be referred to treatment to prevent the violence from continuing. The money is already available, but officials of the Ministry of Finance prefer that private and for-profit companies will cut a financial coupon for their shareholders, and the main thing is that there will not be any more jobs in the public service. We will use all the means at our disposal to avoid work disruptions, and we hope that the Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and the Welfare Minister Yaakov Margi will not oblige us to do so. We do not speculate when it comes to women’s lives.”
The dispute is a significant development in the fight against domestic violence in Israel. It remains to be seen whether the union will be able to persuade the government to change its mind.
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