If no solution is found by Tuesday to the serious erosion of Clalit Health Services workers' wages, the sanctions that began on Sunday morning will expand, and there will be disruptions in service at Clalit Health Services hospitals and clinics around the country.
Some 15,000 maintenance and administrative staffers, technicians, engineering staff and others at the largest health fund are applying sanctions.
The only health fund facilities not affected are hospital obstetrics departments, in-vitro fertilization, dialysis and intensive care units and other emergency matters.
Hundreds of elective operations and treatments were postponed on the first day of the sanctions, union chief Prosper Ben-Hamu said. More Clalit workers would join the sanctions in sympathy of their coworkers if there were no movement, he added.
The union had "no choice but to strike" because of the 25 percent erosion in their wages in the past few years, he said. He charged the Treasury and Clalit management with being "oblivious" to the needs and rights of the staff.
The union of Clalit physicians issued instructions not to perform the tasks of maintenance and administrative workers such as opening the clinics; only if there were a guard, clerk or national service volunteer would they go in and go to work.
Clalit management said it had been in the midst of talks with the workers and that it was sorry the union chose to apply sanctions. It called on the staff to return to the negotiating table.