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Another wage reprieve for Bikur Cholim
By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH
11/06/2012
Health Ministry: 500 workers return to jobs after enforcing reduced Shabbat schedule preventing admissions of women in labor.
 
Jerusalem’s teetering Bikur Cholim Hospital has received another reprieve from shutting down as the 30 percent of workers’ September salaries that had been unpaid has now been deposited in the bank.

The Health Ministry said that more than 500 workers have returned to their jobs after enforcing a reduced Shabbat schedule that prevented admissions of women in labor and other patients. Although the staffers said they were going back to their departments, their October salaries have still not been paid.

The ministry claimed “real progress in negotiations” with Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, which has been offered by the government the possibility of taking over Bikur Cholim as a new branch and running it. “Talks are expected to be completed soon,” the ministry said.

Deputy Health Minister MK Ya’acov Litzman met with Prime Minister and formally Health Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to tell him about recent developments regarding the financially troubled, 190- year-old hospital catering mostly to the ultra- Orthodox population.

The spokesman of the Histadrut General Labor Federation said that Avi Nissenkorn of the trade union branch had worked with ministry director-general Prof. Ronni Gamzu to find a solution to the latest hospital crisis.

Jerusalem Regional Labor Court judge Dita Prozhinin, who was notified on Tuesday that the workers were return to their jobs, authorized them to continue their protest if they wish because they still haven’t received last month’s wages.

The Histadrut official said that the workers preserved their right to hold sanctions if they are not paid in full, including their social benefits, very soon.
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