|Behind the scenes at the Social Workers' Strike|
|Written by Ruby Ong|
"We're tired of being social slaves." "With this meager (aluv) salary, we'll fight like in Libya (Luv)." These and other rhyming slogans, which were composed at a SHATIL training aimed at turning social workers into social change agents, featured prominently in the nationwide demonstrations by striking social workers as well as in press coverage of the protests.
The slogans are but one example of SHATIL's behind-the-scenes efforts to help the country's 15,000 striking workers achieve a fair settlement. The decision to strike was taken last week, with wide public support, after months of negotiations with the government led to naught.
SHATIL began a letter-writing campaign demanding that Prime Minister Netanyahu and other officials comply with the social workers' demands. SHATIL and the NIF also funded busses to the protests.
As we go to press, the Finance Ministry has agreed to a 25 percent raise in the extremely low salaries earned by government and privatized social workers. SHATIL is helping groups of social workers and students with targeted advocacy efforts in order to ensure that the government monitor and supervise the process so that the funds are indeed received by the social workers.
The social workers’ training is in its third round and is implemented in collaboration with the Haifa Municipality, the Social Academic College and the Ministry of Welfare.