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Government employees earn 75% more than Israeli average; senior doctors among highest earners

The highest average wages were paid out to Israeli state-owned firms, starting with the ports in Haifa, where workers earned NIS 28,790 per month.

December 23, 2014 19:03
3 minute read.

Shekel money bills. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The government pays out over double the national average salary, according to a report issued by the Finance Ministry Tuesday.

The report, which covered civil servants, government-owned companies, and security services, found that in 2013 the average civil servant earned NIS 15,611 per month, while the average employee in other public bodies earned NIS 14,793. The average salary in 2013 was slightly above NIS 8,724, though the median wage was in the NIS 6,000 range.

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Between 2009 and 2012, civil service wages increased 12 percent, four times faster than in the private sector, according to Kobi Amsalem, the Treasury’s wage supervisor.

“Publication of the data ensures transparency on working conditions in the government and public sector. The wage division will continue to work toward increased transparency,” Amsalem said.

“The statistics show that salary levels in the government and public sector are good, some of them high and others lower.

“In future wage agreements, we must emphasize the introduction of changes that will lead to the improved ability to meet targets for the good of the public, including wage agreements that provide management tools and remuneration for meeting targets,” he added.

Some of the top earners were hospital and health fund physicians.

The head of a professional Clalit Health Services clinic leading the list earned NIS 124,000, followed by a senior ophthalmologist who had a paycheck of almost NIS 116,000.

A senior Soroka University Medical Center vascular surgeon who earned NIS 113,000 was ranked last year as No. 1 in the list of the highest- paid public servants. The head of another professional medical clinic came fourth on the list, at NIS 111,000, and No. 5 was a gynecologist, at NIS 110,000.

Meanwhile, the head of the Israel Aerospace Industries earned NIS 108,000, and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.- Gen. Benny Gantz earned “only” NIS 81,000 a month in 2013. The Israel Police chief earned NIS 85,000, while a “router” in Haifa Port earned NIS 79,000.

The study did not take into account extra benefits beyond base wage, but it also did not account for factors such as experience and education.

The highest average wages were paid out to state-owned firms, starting with the ports in Haifa (NIS 28,790) and Ashdod (NIS 28,716). The average Defense Ministry employee earned NIS 21,110, well above the average salaries in the IDF (NIS 12,975), police (NIS 15,631), and teachers (NIS 12,102).

Contract workers, on the other hand, earned just NIS 6,247 a month on average.

Referring to the high salaries given to a number of very senior physicians, Israel Medical Association chairman Dr. Leonid Eidelman said the IMA “waved the flag of saving public medicine during the doctors’ strike of 2011. The basis of the wage agreement was whoever does more work in the public sector earns more. This approach brought about the increase of salaries for doctors devoting all their time to public hospitals and clinics.

“Senior doctors started to work evenings and nights in public institutions. Over 1,000 physicians moved to the periphery and to work in specialties with inadequate manpower, and their wages were significantly increased,” he said.

All Israelis know of the “shortage of doctors, and every patient feels it personally. The way to increase the number of doctors is to allow them to earn more so they won’t have to work in private medicine, add job slots, and to make the specialty more attractive,” he said.

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