Local Councils Suspend Strike, Puts an End to Free Parking
Local towns and cities reached an agreement with the government Tuesday to end the three-day-old strike that left garbage piling up and motorists free to park without fear of being slapped with parking fines. Workers broke the strike in several communities on Tuesday and returned to work.
Union of Local Authorities Chairman Shlomo Buhbut and the office of the Prime Minister reached an agreement to establish a joint forum to examine the issues of property and water taxes.
The local authorities called the strike to protest changes in the property tax structure and the government’s refusal to remove the Value Added Tax (VAT) on water rates.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised on Monday that during the 45-day period, he will not allow initiatives in the Knesset to place additional burdens on budgets for cities and local authorities.
"I am pleased, along with the residents of Israel's cities, that the strike is over and that services will go back to normal,” the Prime Minister said.
Garbage began piling up during the strike, transportation to nursery schools was cancelled, and assistant teachers did not show up for work. Classes were held as usual.
Parking meter supervisors also were on strike, allowing motorists to park free of charge – if they were able to find a vacant spot.