Jewish Agency employees to volunteer work days

June 1, 2011 01:13

Employees agree to work six days without pay this year in order to avoid layoffs; 500 workers will give a free day each month until end of the year.

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Jewish Agency

Jewish Agency. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Facing a hard choice of letting people go or cutting salaries, the Jewish Agency for Israel and its union have agreed that employees across the board will donate six free work days in 2011, a source said.

This decision will affect approximately 500 people who will each give a free day of work a month until the end of the year.

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“It’s not a long term solution,” the source said. “The structural change is deep and that’s going to involve personnel and have consequences. It’s not going to change by a one off agreement although it’s amazing the management and labor unions have come together to agree on it.”

The 82-year-old organization is currently undergoing big changes. Its Department for Aliya and Absorption, long the cornerstone of the Jewish Agency, has been effectively merged with others and the department head, Eli Cohen, has left. Meanwhile, management has pushed forward with its decision to focus increasingly on Jewish education and identity alongside its commitment to Jewish immigration to Israel.

“Management and the Labor union have had serious negotiations to try and save jobs and still meet the budget goals for an effective organization,” Jewish Agency spokesman Haviv Rettig Gur said. “The Union was reasonable and gave a contribution out of its belief in its mission and employees.”

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