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Severe shortage of foreign workers in Israel: "The problem is far from being solved" Israel today

2022-06-23T10:54:13.385Z

The nursing bureaus announced, after three weeks, the cessation of the strike - but the problem of the shortage of foreign workers in the home nursing industry is far from being solved • Israel lacks about 20,000 nursing caregivers, Contacts to resolve the crisis - but stressed that things have not yet been agreed • Aging with dignity? Not right now



The nursing bureaus have announced the end of the strike in which they opened about three weeks ago.

The Population and Immigration Authority is considering increasing the quota of foreign workers.

The protest of the nursing bureaus on the new regulations of the Knesset Labor and Welfare Committee on the issue of collecting brokerage fees from foreign workers, who come to Israel to engage in home nursing, will stop, Israel Today has learned.

With the end of the strike, the bureaus returned to dealing with the absorption of foreign workers into the home nursing industry, and to provide a service to foreign workers in the country who are required to settle matters with the Population and Immigration Authority.

However, the Foreign Ministry workers' strike is still ongoing, so not all requests to bring in foreign workers have been approved for months.

The decision by the private nursing bureaus to end the strike was made following pressure from employers - the nursing patients and their families - which has led to contacts in recent days between Ahioz, the bureau's umbrella organization, and the Population and Immigration Authority.

This is due to the great distress and the shortage of at least 20,000 caregivers.

As is well known, Israelis are not happy, to say the least, to work in the home nursing industry.

In order to address the distress, temporary regulations were established in 2005 that make it possible to bring foreign workers to Israel.

In recent years, an average of 800 to 1,000 foreign workers have come to Israel each month for the home nursing industry, while the annual allowable quota for each bureau is 15% of all its workers.

Thus, for example, a bureau employing 1,000 foreign workers may bring in 150 workers a year.

The State of Israel is aging, and the quota does not meet the growing demand, especially in the periphery.

In "Israel Today", evidence has accumulated from a large number of families who are desperate to find caregivers - which is not possible due to their place of residence far from the center and due to the conditions and requirements set by the foreign workers themselves.

They now condition their continued stay with a significant salary increase.

As part of the contacts between Ahioz and the Population and Immigration Authority, Ahioz asked for an increase in the annual quota to 25%.

The organization said they had reached a verbal agreement with the PA and therefore decided to end the strike as a gesture of goodwill.

However, the Immigration and Population Authority confirmed that the application had been submitted, but stressed that there is no official decision yet and that the issue is being examined.

The employer's bureau may bring in 150 employees a year (illustration photo), Photo: Ami Shumen

The bone of contention for which the private bureaus have announced a strike is the change in regulations, approved in late May by the Labor and Welfare Committee, which regulated the issue of collecting brokerage fees from foreign workers.

As stated, in 2005 temporary regulations were enacted that allowed private bureaus to charge NIS 3,800 from every foreign citizen who came to work in Israel in the home nursing industry.

In addition, the bureaus charge the employers NIS 2,000 for placement fees, and starting from the second year, there is also a regular monthly payment of NIS 70 for the bureaus' ongoing care of employees.

In 2018, the temporary order expired and regulations have not been renewed since, so since then the private bureaus no longer charge brokerage fees to foreign workers who come to Israel.

A report prepared by an external company at the request of the state recommended that the private bureaus be allowed to charge NIS 1,724 for brokerage fees from each new employee who comes from abroad and NIS 81 per month from all foreign workers in the country engaged in home nursing.

This, in addition to the collection from the employers that continued.

The report's recommendations were signed by three ministers, but during the discussion in the Labor and Welfare Committee several difficulties arose, including the fear that foreign workers would require employers to pay the monthly amount. The struggle against human trafficking.

After discussions between all parties, it was agreed to collect an amount of NIS 6,800 only from the new caregivers who will arrive in Israel in the form of NIS 3,800 before arriving in Israel and NIS 3,000 in three installments, to be paid within three months.

"Bureaus may collapse"

The agreed outline was submitted to the Labor Committee, which finally approved a one-time collection of NIS 3,800 from each new employee before arriving in Israel and NIS 2,000 in two installments.

This actually means a cut of half of the annual income to the private bureaus and an inability on their part to oblige the foreign workers to pay the second and third payment, since no mechanism has been established to guarantee the payment of the additional two beats by the employee.

"The problem of the shortage of foreign workers in the home nursing industry is far from being solved. The private nursing offices receive heartbreaking inquiries every day from families who crave appropriate care for their loved ones. "The huge gap of tens of thousands of workers is missing. In the absence of a budgetary source, the bureaus may collapse and close down their activities, as may patients and their families who will not have an address for treatment," warns Ahioz chairman Yariv Shurian.

Nadav Dekel, disabled with 188% disability (51), Nahariya - "The authorities do not issue visas, and I am left alone"

Nadav, an accountant by profession, is defined as having a 188% disability due to surgery he underwent in the neck 20 years ago.

He has difficulty speaking and is breathing and moving in a wheelchair.

From Passover he is looking for a nanny.

"My wife is pregnant, she can not help me anymore. I twice applied to the caregiver and was surprised to find that they were not ready to come to Nahariya.

"In the center they are paid higher wages, their friends live in the center and they prefer to work there. This should not be the case. They can not be allowed to decide that they are not willing to work in the periphery. In addition, most caregivers prefer to work with a woman. I have been employed for twenty years. "I have not been treated before and in a situation where the caregiver can choose whether to treat a man or a woman. Just as a nurse in a hospital cannot choose. This is discrimination."

"The authorities do not issue visas, and I am left alone."

Nadav Dekel,

He also describes the difficulty of finding a replacement caregiver when his caregiver goes on vacation in her homeland, or on weekends.

"There are no caregivers to replace her, and a person like me is in trouble. The caregiver is not interested in this, she has no obligation to find a replacement."

The issue of commitment is also evident in the abandonment of caregivers by helpless patients, when their demands are not met or when an argument develops.

"I once had a nanny from Russia. I was home alone with her and she showered me. We started arguing about something, and she just left me alone in the winter shower for an hour.

"I could not do anything. After an hour she showered me and in the morning she packed her things and left without notifying."

Nadav recently found a caregiver who agreed to come to Israel and treat him, but because of the strike, both by the Foreign Ministry and the bureaus, she has not been able to come until now.

"Almost no visas are issued, and until that happens I'm not sure it will remain available to me," he says.

Tali Gershonovich and her mother, Yael Tzurur (77), Hazon - "The elderly suffer and they can not shout"

Tali, a resident of Rosh HaAyin, lives with her mother in Moshav Hazon in the north.

"My mother is a nurse, she also has Parkinson's and she has had a lot of surgeries. She is bedridden and needs help with everything," she says, adding that she was looking for a caregiver in the pool of available caregivers, but no one is willing to come to Moshav Hazon.

"They want to work in the central region. Even caregivers who have received a visa to the northern region are able to get around it. I do not understand why the state does not restrict them."

"The elderly suffer and they can not shout."

Tali-Gershonovich and her mother Yael,

Tali managed to find a foreign worker from Uzbekistan, who was supposed to arrive after Pesach, but due to the Foreign Ministry strike, her arrival was also delayed.

Meanwhile, she says, the whole family has mobilized to help and care for her mother.

Tali herself comes from Rosh HaAyin to the north several times a week.

"We fall between the chairs, we collapse.

"I can not lead a work and family life," she says, and is especially hurt by the fact that she focuses the precious time she has left with her mother on caring for her.

"I want to talk to my mother, to laugh with her, to walk with her, and not just change her diapers. I do not get to it. When I get to her I take care of her. Pay attention to what is happening with the elderly in our country. They suffer and they can not get up and shout."

Galit and her mother Dalia (75), Kiryat Motzkin - "My mother served as a ticket to Israel - and nothing more"

Dalia's caregiver arrived in Israel a few months ago.

Galit, her daughter, says: "My mother went through a very difficult crisis. My sister died of ALS, a cruel disease that causes a lot of suffering, and after she died my mother collapsed, lost the desire to live and became a nurse. It was very difficult for her to accept the fact that she needed care. "But since she fell a lot, we had no choice. I established a fact and made the whole process and payments and brought her a caregiver from abroad."

When the caregiver arrived, Galit taught her how to care for her mother.

"Her absorption with us was quick, and my mother was immediately attached to her, but from the moment she met with her friends in the country, the blackmail began."

She says she agreed in advance with the caregiver that the work does not include Saturdays, but she said "the caregiver demanded to stay on Saturdays and that we pay her for it. She demanded that the base salary be higher. She also started talking about it with my mother and it stressed her. She was afraid the caregiver would leave To sleep at night. "

When Galit refused the demands, the caregiver announced her resignation and at the end of the month she would leave.

Until she finds a new employer, she stays in the country with the visa she received thanks to the fact that she was hired to take care of Dalia.

"We felt that my mother was just using an entry ticket to Israel," says Galit, adding: "I can not bring a new caregiver from abroad because the current caregiver is on my mother's visa.

The facts that are in the country want 30% more and force us to pay on Saturdays even if not needed.

The state does not understand how much it harms the elderly and their families by not regulating the issue. "

Yigal Mutzafi and his mother Zivia (86), Margaliot - "The state should be responsible for employment"

The 86-year-old deer suffered crises in both femurs last year and has since been assisted by a caregiver 24 hours a day.

At the end of the month, the residence visa of her caregiver, a resident of the Philippines, will end.

Her son Yigal has been looking for a new caregiver for several months and cannot find one.

"The state should be responsible for employment."

Yigal Mutzafi and his mother Zvia,

"We went to the nursing offices and were told that there are no caregivers available for her. We live in the north of the country and it has a great impact, most caregivers are looking to work in the central area. When they hear we live in the periphery they say no, or want a lot of money. As close to the center as possible. Due to the strike of the bureaus and the Foreign Ministry, we have not been able to bring in a new caregiver from abroad until now.

Yigal also criticizes the fact that the issue is not addressed by the state.

"Why do these adults have to be the managers and employers of the foreign worker? They do not understand this. They need a body to manage and budget for it. The nursing bureaus do take care of the financial aspect, but their employer is a family member or the patient himself. It is absurd. What we understand in management, in employment "Workers need the government to handle this matter."

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2022-06-23

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