A tall office building in the Romema quarter of Jerusalem that can be seen from
much of western and northern parts of the capital is ready to become the Health
Ministry’s headquarters instead of rented apartment buildings in the San Simon
and Talpiot neighborhoods, in King David Street and three other
But the scheduled moving day has passed, and numerous
employees claim their works union will not allow the transfer until it receives
all its demands such as underground parking for all employees with cars and
payment for “getting used to” the new facility.
However, union chief
Nissim Levy, who was contacted by The Jerusalem Post, refused to comment on
Wednesday night. When asked what he does in the ministry besides heading the
works committee, Levy said: “I clean toilets. Wherever the ministry operates
from, I will clean toilets.”
But according to official ministry sources,
Levy is a staff driver and does not have any cleaning or maintenance
The ministry too was tightlipped, saying only that 880 employees
will move from various Jerusalem units to the new tower behind the Central Bus
Station in Rehov Yirmiyahu (a short distance from The Jerusalem
Among the units are senior management, the legal department, public
health, epidemiology and others. A similar tower adjacent to it belongs
to other ministries’ units, including those from the Finance Ministry, the
Justice Ministry, the Welfare and Social Services Ministry and Nativ (contact
with Russian Jewry).
The Health Ministry spokeswoman said that “there
will be parking places for all” after a survey of car owners was carried out a
year ago. In recent days, the ministry said, the works committees of all the
affected ministries presented additional demands that are now being discussed
with the Treasury and the Histadrut.
She did not say whether the staff
are refusing to move or not but did say that “adjustment pay” has been approved
for the staff.
The integration of the Jerusalem headquarters, she
concluded, will “contribute to improved service and efficiency.”