Haifa Religious Council Workers to Receive Salaries
By Y. Ariel
Haifa Religious Council employees will receive their salaries
now that the Haifa Municipality has advanced next month's
funding transfer based on a request by Minister Yitzchak
Cohen. MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni contacted Minister Cohen last
week, saying the crisis situation at the religious councils
continues to cause distress. "If a strong religious council
like Haifa's, which did not have financial problems in the
past, is facing difficulties, that proves the government's
fundamental failure in handling this issue," he said.
Haifa Religious Council workers who have not received their
salaries held an urgent meeting last week at which they
voiced their pain as a result of difficulties related to not
receiving their pay. Severe measures were proposed at the
meeting, including demonstrations and strikes. At present the
Workers' Committee is preventing strikes and other drastic
measures. However Workers' Committee Chairman HaRav M.
Rauchberger said the problem stems from a budget 30 below the
Minister Yitzchak Cohen said based on his request the Haifa
Municipality transferred NIS 500,000 ($120,000) to be paid to
employees immediately. He said the Haifa Religious Council
would begin introducing cost-cutting measures and in the
meantime, next month as well the workers would receive their
pay from "minister's reserve funds."
"By next month we will receive further data," said Minister
Cohen, "but in the meantime the employees' wages cannot be
withheld, and therefore we have executed this through advance
According to workers at the Haifa Religious Council, which
provides religious services to the entire Haifa area, if the
budget is not increased to meet the regular needs the problem
will return in the coming months.