Why the Israel? I have recently read a very interesting article, entitled "The Miracle Called Israel". I was startled by development and progress of this country, by informations that it "was born" just over 60 years ago, and its "re-bitrh" after 2.000 years ago and many others very astonishing facts. Since this small country is world leader in medicine, technology, agriculture, military etc. i was curious about how this young country copes with some social issues...
It can be noticed that there are two leading issues.
- First, the social workers have been on strike for two months and, surprisingly, not to increase their pay, which is one of the lowest in Israel, but to improve the service that they give to the public. The biggest problem is the deficit of social workers. There are 7.000 social workers in Israel to serve 7 million citizens ( based on data from 2009 ). Each social worker has some 300 to 400 cases at any given time (as the case with us, and a few days ago text about this was published in "Vecernje novosti"). Social workers do not have time to listen, with each client getting on average about five minutes a week. Those caseloads result in damage every day, and even death. That is why the social workers are asking for a 1.000 new positions. Reason for this is that for a long time Ministry of Social Affairs was not a desirable ministry, hence there was no minister at its helm. There is also concern that the finance minister's plan to lower taxes will make it even more difficult to find financing for hundreds of social-work positions. And to conclude: A significant increase in the number of social workers is not a luxury, but a fundamental need, perhaps even an existential one.
- The second issue concerns the division between private and public sector. According to informations from the Social Workers Union, in 2011, there are roughly 15.000 active social workers in Israel, with 10.000 of them working in the public sector and a further 5.000 in the private sector. In the private sector, they earn even less. The pay scale has not been adjusted for more than 17 years, and roughly one in three social workers receives income support after being paid minimum wage. The struggle is directed against having the first and second class of social workers.
As reported Israel National News, in March this year, social workers achieved an agreement, as a result of the repeated strike, and instead of a 40.5 hour work week, the work week would be 39 hours long. The pay hike would be cut correspondingly, to 22.5% instead of 25%.
So, if you want to visit the only Jewish country on the world, watch out because you may stay there forever if they find out that you are a social worker! :)))
You never know! :)