Some 150 workers from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Public Security Ministry
and the Foreign Ministry protested in front of the Foreign Ministry in the
capital on Tuesday morning, demanding incentive pay as government office
directors met there to discuss budgets and plans for the coming
According to the Histadrut labor federation, the staff from the
Prime Minister’s Office and the Public Security Ministry began protesting after
the Finance Ministry rejected an appeal to add pay for good
The Foreign Ministry workers joined to protest what they
called “wage erosion and unilateral harm to pay and work
“This is the first time government employees have cooperated
and shown solidarity over the harm being done to workers in various offices,”
said Daniel Bonfil, chairman of the Histadrut’s Jerusalem district.
Treasury spokeswoman said that because the government had not yet passed a
budget for 2013, it was too early to consider pay increases.
that the government will have to cut some NIS 14 billion from the 2013 state
budget will make salary increases all the more contentious.
Treasury spokeswoman added, were not the best way to deal with the
“The collective agreement establishes a mechanism that can be
activated for such purposes: arbitration,” she said.
Ministry’s workers committee, meanwhile, held a press conference later in the
day calling for a NIS 500 million increase to the ministry’s budget to beef up
its diplomatic corps around the world.
Yaakov Livne, the spokesman for
the workers’ committee, said that Israel had essentially abandoned its Foreign
“Even though the country’s leaders are aware of Israel’s
complicated situation in the world and the need to change its public diplomacy,
in practice the situation is worse than it ever was. Those who neglect
diplomatic activity abroad are critically harming Israel’s national security,”
According to a report prepared by the workers’ committee, the
number of Israeli diplomats posted abroad is in steady decline, with the figure
today standing at 220.
Israel had representatives in only 60 percent of
the 160 countries with which it has diplomatic relations, the report
Israel has 100 diplomatic missions abroad, while the countries of
the Arab world has 1,320, according to the report.