Photo Credit: Miriam Alster / Flash 90
Thousands of social workers march with signs and block streets as they protest their working conditions and violence against them, in central Tel Aviv, on December 17, 2018.

Social workers in Israel are launching a strike Monday for an indefinite period, the Union of Social Workers announced Sunday.

“We are cruelly and violently attacked, and no one comes to our defense. We are expected to somehow cover our expenses with the pitiful salaries we are paid, and we work under insane pressure,” Social Workers’ Union chairperson Inbal Hermoni said in a statement.

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“A thousand positions for social workers are going unfilled because no one is interested in the job due to the excessive work, the violence, and the pathetic wage scale.

“An entire sector is being neglected, dried up, exhausted. Finance Ministry officials just want to break social services and shut them down.

“With no other option available to us, we have no choice but to strike starting tomorrow; this will be the largest social services strike to ever take place in the country,” she added.

Social workers in Israel function in all kinds of community support positions including case management and community outreach as well as administration, service delivery and clinical support as well.

Departments likely to be affected include the Social Services, Education and Health Ministries as well as local governments, prisoner rehabilitation, legal assistance, the court system and more.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.