Photo: Hadas Frosh/Flash90, Ofer Meir
Kahlon, Barakat
Photo: Hadas Frosh/Flash90, Ofer Meir
Jerusalem to cut security at schools due to budget restraints
An ongoing budget disagreement between the Finance Ministry, Jerusalem is causing the city to have to let go of workers, enact budget cuts in schools.
Jerusalem city municipality on Tuesday notified the company that provides security for the city's schools that it is cutting down on employment hours, with city hall blaming Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon for failing to transfer government allotted funds to the city.



"Due to the Finance Ministry not transferring the needed funds, the city is obliged to cancel security at (certain) schools for the afternoon hours, security during other hours will remain unchanged," said a statement issued by city hall, who had to cut security past 2pm. "The Finance Ministry refuses to recognize the budgetary needs of Jerusalem; they are forcing the city to fire 2,150 workers and make NIS 250 million shekels in cuts in services."


Kahlon, Barakat (Photo: Hadas Porush, Ofer Meir)
Kahlon, Barakat (Photo: Hadas Porush, Ofer Meir)


Earlier that day, the Jerusalem district chairman of the Histadrut Danny Bonfil declared a labor dispute after the city announced the firing of 600 workers. Chairman of the municipality workers committee Avichai Avraham said that that number includes 106 sanitation workers and 50 social workers.


City Tipat Halav centers—who provide health promotion and prevention services for pregnant women, infants and children—were notified that since the health Ministry has yet to provide for their NIS 14 million budget, they are facing closure.


In response to Bonfil's announcement, Mayor Barakat said: "Kahlon has purposely dragged the city into emergency mode. Consequently, 2,000 Jerusalem families' livelihood will be harmed and we are reverting backwards five years in quality of life for our residents. I will do everything in my power to solve the crisis and prevent the city's shutdown. Kahlon must demonstrate leadership and come forward so that we can solve this crisis."


On Sunday, the city petitioned the Supreme Court against the Finance Ministry and other government ministries for violating budgetary commitments to the city to the tune of NIS 105 million shekels in 2017.


Simultaneously, employees of the Jerusalem municipality blocked the entrance of the Finance Ministry's offices in the capital by piling garbage near the doors.


"The Minister of Finance is trampling the law by not implementing the government's decisions and is hurting Jerusalem and its resident. I will not allow political reprisals to harm the city's residents," said Barakat.


According o the petition, the Finance Ministry owes the city NIS 75 million shekels -50 million for 2016 and 14 million for Tipat HChalav centers. The balance of the sum consists of commitments by the ministries of education, social services and interior. That said, the municipal spokesman directed the blame at the Finance Ministry alone.


The struggle for increased budgets for Israel's capital has been waged by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat against Kahlon over the past three years.

The Jerusalem municipality receives an increment to its budget every year dubbed the "capital grant." While other local authorities in Israel receive grants for balanced budgets, Jerusalem receives a grant stemming from its special status and needs as capital and yet of the country's poorest cities, influenced by the large incidence of poor Haredim and Arab residents.


פרסום ראשון: 01.03.18, 23:17
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