Meuhedet’s 4,000 staffers to go on warning strike

The dispute involves what the workers claim is foot-dragging in negotiations over the last 18 months on reaching a new collective agreement.

By
May 19, 2013 21:36
1 minute read.
Meuhedet

meuhedet building 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Some 4,000 staff members of the third-largest health fund – Meuhedet – will hold a one-day warning strike on Monday.

The dispute involves what the workers claim is foot-dragging in negotiations over the last 18 months on reaching a new collective agreement.

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All of the health fund’s community clinics will be closed except for lifesaving departments such as the unit for home visits, oncology, urgent care and in-vitro fertilization.

However, independent physicians’ clinics will remain open.

Hundreds of Meuhedet staffers are scheduled to hold demonstrations at the health fund’s central offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. A month ago, the Histadrut labor federation declared a labor dispute on behalf of Meuhedet workers over the issue. A Histadrut official, Arnon Ben-David, said Sunday that Meuhedet staffers have been suffering from “chaos in employer-employee relations in the health fund for a long time.”

Meuhedet workers’ union chief Shela Ventura said that “during the year-and-a-half of negotiations with management, not only did we not get anywhere but the situation also declined. We call on management to sign a contract with us immediately, to ensure the conditions of our employment and our job safety. We don’t want to make the sanctions more severe; we just want a proper agreement.”

The health fund has been in a lot of trouble recently, as its board of directors fired its director-general, Prof. Asher Elhayany; Health Minister Yael German – although she did not give details on what he had allegedly done – approved the dismissal. Since then, former Clalit Health Services director-general Zeev Wurmbrand has served as acting director-general of Meuhedet.

Management commented on Sunday that it “apologized to Meuhedet’s members for the inconvenience that could result from the strike and the fact that employees decided to take the step, even though negotiations with them continue and immediately upon taking office, he [Wurmbrand] invited the union heads to meet with him.”

Wurmbrand instructed management to minimize the harm to members through its medical network and the central phone number for service (*3833).


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