Saturday , October 1 2022

Social workers protest against work under constant threat


When Ben Gurion airport is on strike, Israel stops. But when social workers, dealing with the most difficult welfare state of the country, decide to strike repeatedly against the violence they regularly submit – the public is indifferent.

The social workers' strike entered the day. Approximately 1,000 social workers and their supporters blocked Azrielly Tel Aviv transport for 40 minutes. Earlier, hundreds of protesters briefly blocked entry to Jerusalem.

Social workers – helped elderly, Holocaust survivors and young people with disabilities – have to fight serious violence in an almost impossible working environment. The strike was launched after a social worker was attacked and her car was vandalized with a hammer.

Inbal Hermoni, the head of the social workers' union, was arrested Monday in protests in Tel Aviv.

Inbal Hermoni, the head of the social workers' union, was arrested Monday in protests in Tel Aviv.

The attacker's lawyer said that "this is a very sad case for a woman who is facing difficult circumstances, her four-year-old daughter has been taken from her in a help home, and she fears the girl is being abused there. they to get answers from welfare bodies have been ignored. "

Social workers also protest against their workload and insufficient workforce. They require a safe work environment that includes security measures – such as CCTV, metal detectors and guards – as well as self-defense training. Social workers also demand that police investigations into attacks against them are no longer closed due to a "lack of public interest".

Meanwhile, municipalities have decided not to pay workers on strike. "They think they can scare the workers while they are fighting for their lives," said Inbal Hermoni, head of the Social Workers' Association.

"We call for the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the Ministry of Finance to find an immediate solution to violent violence. There will be no public services until adequate solutions for inadequate workforce, workload and safety issues are found."

"The state has sent us to take care of and protect the helpless people and it is the role of the state to protect us." As long as this does not happen, we will not receive the public at our offices, and we refuse to send the social workers to death, "he added. Hermon.

Social workers protest in Tel Aviv (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

Social workers protest in Tel Aviv (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

The Ministry of Health and Social Services responded that "the Ministry believes that violence against social workers is very serious. Social workers are faithfully serving and should feel safe at work." The last incident has to do with a woman who threatened the lives of social workers before, and was even arrested, but, unfortunately, law enforcement authorities did not go to keep it away. "

The ministry added that it has increased the budget for security at social offices and is working to combat social workers' disruption in the social media.

"We have been exposed to physical and verbal violence over the years, but there has been an increase in incidents this year. It is a mirror image of our society that has become more violent," said Meira Kiperman, Social and Social Assistance in Haifa.

Last week, Kiperman said, two of her social workers "made a home call, had a mandate to protect a 14-year-old whose well-being was seriously endangered." When they got home, stones were thrown on them … A social worker has received death threats for her and her family.

Kiperman added that the state does not invest enough in the safety of social workers. "Execution is lacking, violent people are often released without being brought to justice. Investigation cases are closed due to lack of public interest."

Meira Kiperman, director of Haifa's social welfare and welfare department.

Meira Kiperman, director of Haifa's social welfare and welfare department.

Orly Maestro has been a social worker for 13 years and runs social services at the Galileo de Sus Regional Council. "We face verbal abuse, sometimes with physical violence and Facebook shame. Our work involves a constant threat," she said, adding she now has a panic button.

"We are tired of being a punching bag," continues Maestro. "We often have to get into the lives of uninvited people, and meetings are extremely unpleasant. Our cell phone numbers are always available anytime, which often leads to harassment, threats and inappropriate messages."

Y., a 37-year-old social worker in the center of Israel, also suffered violence: "I had to call the police more than once when I was working with families. Just recently I had an incident with a teenager who attacked a guard, threatened employees, and broke a computer. "We were really afraid of our lives at the office, it's a common thing, we're the bag for everybody." There is no law to protect us.

N., a 30-year-old social worker in northern Israel, also shares these feelings. "A case that haunts me happened when a woman, whose ex-husband had received custody of children, always called me screaming. I tried to listen and help but the scream turned into threats. a daily meeting, "she said.

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