The Knesset plenum .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The highest salaries among workers at the Knesset do not belong to ministers or Knesset members, according to a study by transparency activist Tomer Avital.
Avital, who initiated a project on transparency in the Knesset, received information on Knesset salaries that had previously not been available to the public.
According to the study, the highest salary belongs to the top Knesset security official, Yosef Griff, who made NIS 59,549 monthly in 2014. Next on the list was the deputy legal adviser of the Knesset, attorney Etti Bendler, who earned NIS 59,187, because her salary is commensurate to that of a district court judge.
Bendler’s boss, Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon, follows her in third place with NIS 57,454 a month, because he has less experience working in the Knesset than Bendler. The top five list was completed by the head of ceremonies and events in the legislature, Miri Yachin, and Knesset secretary, Yardena Meller- Horowitz.
Avital found that there are clauses in Knesset contracts that give staff members large bonuses that boost their salary by as much as 54 percent. They also receive large sums for expenses.
The study was published following the release of the list of MKs and their expenses.
Zionist Union MK Shelly Yacimovich topped that list.
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Knesset members make some NIS 40,000 a month. However, they pay nearly half of that in taxes.
“Instead of the Knesset being a light of proper governance, it is divvying out scandalous bonuses to staff members who earn much more than MKs,” Avital told Yediot Aharonot.
“It is even more angering that there is no connection between such bonuses and the quality of the staff member’s work.”
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