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Although women working in the public sector are in the majority over men, they are still placed in lower positions and on the whole they are earning less than their male counterparts, the Finance Ministry revealed in its annual report on civil service wages.
The 2006 report found that when comparing average gross monthly salaries between the sexes, women in the civil service were earning an average gross monthly salary of NIS 9,732 holding 33,641 positions, while men in 18,354 civil service positions were paid NIS 12,870, or 32 percent more.
The gap in average wages between the sexes was supported by differences in working hours and the fact that a large part of women in the civil service were still placed in lower positions and ranks such as secretarial jobs.
However, recent developments of new senior staff contracts forged in 2006 leave room for some optimism. The data from 2006 showed that even though the number of women with new senior staff contracts (which reached 59) was lower than that of men at 174, women were paid a higher average gross monthly salary of NIS 28,003 compared with that of men, who earned NIS 27,605.
Not surprisingly, the report also revealed that among public sector workers, public hospital doctors and judges represented the highest earners in 2005. The highest paid earner was the chief physician at Assaf Harofe Medical Center with a monthly gross salary of NIS 58,351, followed by the head of the anesthesiology at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, earning a gross monthly salary of NIS 58,031. In third place, was the ombudsman for complaints filed against judges with a gross monthly salary of NIS 56,914.
The report revealed that in 2005, the government employed 56,569 public sector servants with an average gross monthly salary of NIS 11,013. Highest public sector wages in the upper 10% of the spectrum earned average gross monthly salaries of between NIS 11,498 and NIS 56,715, while the average wage in the lower 10% was between NIS 3,862 and NIS 30,091.
Best-paid government ministry workers were legal advisers, who earned an average gross monthly salary of NIS 40,818, and judges, who were paid an average gross monthly salary of NIS 48,565.
Government employees - not including the Defense Ministry and teachers - and workers in public hospitals earning a gross monthly salary of over NIS 25,000 made up 2.3%, or 1,349, of all workers in government offices.
The average wage in the Defense Ministry, which employed 2,513 workers, came up to some NIS 16,470 monthly. Those earning over NIS 25,000 made up 5.5% of all defense ministry employees. The highest paid Defense Ministry worker, the head of administration, earned a gross monthly salary of NIS 56,461.
At the other end of the spectrum, teachers in public schools grossed NIS 7,440 on average in 2005, while the average wage in the lower 10% was NIS 4,095. The upper 10th earned only NIS 11,301, on average.