Despite the direct intervention of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a threatened strike by the Union of Local Authorities will be held Monday, January 16, 2012 as planned. It began early Monday morning.
The prime minister met with union leaders in his office on Sunday night, seeking to persuade them to push off the strike, but they emerged basically saying the prime minister’s efforts represented way too little too late. They said the strike is set as planned, and it remains open-ended, adding they do not wish to strike but they are left with no alternative in light of the unacceptable budgetary cuts.
There are some 255 municipalities that will be impacted, and in those areas, many services will be halted, including but not limited to garbage collection, kindergarten workers, school security personnel, issuing of parking tickets, operations of city hall and many more municipal services.
Unlike the last strike when the three large cities remained outside the strike, this time, Haifa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will side with their striking brothers, shutting down services as well.
A main bone of contention was the recent decision by the Interior Ministry to increase arnona annual property tax, which the local municipalities insist will take more money away from education and other essential funding.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)