Contract workers employed at government offices and local authorities will see
their wages rise and conditions improve, according to an agreement signed
Tuesday by Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Histadrut chairman Ofer
Minimum wage for contract workers will increase to NIS 4,500
immediately, with retrospective pay from May 2012. It will then rise to NIS
4,600 in January 2013 and to NIS 4,650 in July 2013, in parallel with the
existing collective workplace agreement for permanent public-sector
In addition, contract workers will receive other benefits
enjoyed by regular employees, including vouchers for Pessah and Rosh Hashana,
more convalescence pay, a 1 percent increase in pension payments and subsidized
meals at their place of work.
The Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry will
add 120 staff to its workplace enforcement division to strengthen supervision.
Under the terms of the agreement, ultimate responsibility for the treatment of
contract workers will be that of the body that orders the service – i.e.,
government offices – and not of the contract company itself.
the agreement “ground-breaking,” saying it brings the conditions of contract
workers into line with those of permanent public-sector employees. This is just
“the beginning of the road” that restores some dignity to workers, he said,
adding that there is still some way to go.
Steinitz said the deal was
part of a series of measures aimed at improving the lot of workers in financial
distress. The main goal was to strengthen these workers and bridge income gaps,
Tuesday’s deal formalizes a memorandum of understanding signed
by the two men on February 12 that ended a four-day Histadrut general
The labor union said it held the strike to achieve better
conditions for contract workers – who are mainly employed as cleaners and guards
– in the public and private sectors.