A victory in the struggle: Tel Aviv’s Bialik House workers recognized as employees

<p>After a year’s struggle, workers at Bialik House who organized with WAC-Maan have been recognized by Tel Aviv Municipality as waged employees in every way.</p>
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After a year’s struggle, workers at Bialik House who organized with WAC-Maan have been recognized by Tel Aviv Municipality as waged employees in every way. For five years these workers were employed under personal contracts as “service providers” without wage slips or social rights. The agreement was signed on August 28 and will be applied retroactively from the beginning of August.

During the struggle, the workers carried out various creative acts of protest, culminating in the Labor Day events in May 2014, all the while negotiating with the municipality. According to the agreement, management of the site and employment of the staff will be transferred to the Educational Institutions Company. The workers’ original wages will be retained and in most cases improved, and they will now receive the social rights to which they are entitled such as vacation days, sick leave, convalescence and health insurance, pension fund contributions, and dismissal compensation.

Nir Nader, WAC-Maan coordinator for the Tel Aviv region, led the negotiations together with Adv. Aya Barnstein from WAC-Maan’s legal department and representatives of the elected workers’ committee.

The Bialik House workers are a group of some 20 artists, educators, dramatists and academics with advanced degrees, who run the House in every way, from shaping the educational programs, through daily administration, to curating and collating the content of the temporary exhibitions. Their struggle attracted broad public support and media attention, as it symbolized the harmful employment frameworks in which manpower agency workers and so-called “freelancers” are obliged to work without social rights or job security, which are widespread in Israel’s job market.

For further details:

Yael Moshe, workers’ committee: 054-4620112

Nir Nader, WAC-Maan: 050-6839443

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