Foreign Ministry employees protest 'wage erosion'

Government workers claim Foreign Service neglected, say number of diplomats stationed abroad in steady decline.

By
February 13, 2013 01:51
1 minute read.
Municipality workers protesting

municipality protest 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

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 year.

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 performance.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The Foreign Ministry workers joined to protest what they called “wage erosion and unilateral harm to pay and work conditions.”

“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.

A Treasury spokeswoman said that because the government had not yet passed a budget for 2013, it was too early to consider pay increases.

The fact that the government will have to cut some NIS 14 billion from the 2013 state budget will make salary increases all the more contentious.

Protests, the Treasury spokeswoman added, were not the best way to deal with the issue.



“The collective agreement establishes a mechanism that can be activated for such purposes: arbitration,” she said.

The Foreign 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 Service.

“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,” he said.

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 said.

Israel has 100 diplomatic missions abroad, while the countries of the Arab world has 1,320, according to the report.

Related Content

The Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
April 30, 2015
Teva doubles down on Mylan, despite rejection

By GLOBES, NIV ELIS