The Bank of Israel workers' union on Thursday declared a temporary end to the strike they began on Monday for a one-week period as they attempt to negotiate with management and reach an agreement over new wage conditions.
"The union, out of a desire to end the labor dispute and reach an agreement, decided to halt the strike despite the decision of the Labor Court to allow us to continue to strike," the Bank of Israel workers' union said in a statement.
The central bank's management and the union will meet three times by next Thursday, under the oversight of a judge of the Jerusalem Labor Court.
The move came after Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer and the Finance Minister's Director of Wages Eli Cohen reached a wage accord late Wednesday night over most of the wage disputes.
The negotiations were stepped after earlier in the evening the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange said it would have to close operations on Sunday, if the central bank strike was not settled by then, since stock market transactions were not being cleared through the Bank of Israel.
Given the stop to the strike, the bourse said it would hold normal trading on Sunday.
Central bank employees walked out on a general strike midday Monday after receiving a letter from Cohen informing them that bank salaries and benefits coming under scrutiny would be cancelled, and they would be expected to return money retroactively that had been paid out "illegally."
Following the agreement on the structure of central bank wages and employment reached with Fischer on Wednesday night, Cohen said on Thursday he would freeze the wage inquiry letters sent to the workers for a week until next Thursday, to allow Fischer to discuss the new wage accord with the central bank workers' union and come to an agreement, they would sign.
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