JOURNALISTS AT work at their desks..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
In 2014, women working in the public sector (excluding ministries) earned, on the average, 79% of what men earned, according to the annual wage report, released Wednesday.
Because wages are supervised in the government sector, the difference was regarded to be a result of two key factors: the lack of women in senior positions, which are higher paid, and the tendency of men to work more overtime hours than women, who often take on greater child-rearing responsibilities.
The report also showed that the highest-paid public sector employee, a doctor in the field of women’s health, made NIS 127,888 a month – more than 13 times the average Israeli salary.
Israel’s health system is run through the government, so doctors are considered pubic sector workers, and typically are the highest- paid employees in the field of “public service.”
The report also showed that some workers in the Haifa port earned NIS 79,811 a month.
Wages varied widely both within different offices and between them. For example, the overall average salary in the sector was NIS 16,283, but it was more than NIS 6,000 higher for the average Defense Ministry employee (NIS 22,833), and about NIS 3,500 lower for the average teacher (NIS 12,760).
Koby Amsalem, the director of wages at the Finance Ministry, said it was time for an overhaul in the system that determined public wages.
“In some bodies, the salary and conditions were set through collective agreements that were given, mostly, after organizational measures, some of which were severe and were not always taken with advance notice,” he said.
As he spoke, the Histadrut Labor Federation prepared to vote on a strike over public sector wages. If no agreement is reached, the strike will go into effect next week.
Though the Histadrut contends that public sector wages haven’t been increased in three years, the report showed that from January 2013 to August 2015, their wages did increase a nominal 7%. Workers in the civil service, in particular, saw a 10% wage rise, while private sector wages, on the average, only rose 4.77%.