yuval steinitz 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The meeting between Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini over an increase in public sector wages ended without tangible results on Friday morning.
RELATED:Steinitz: Not too late to avert next week’s strikeHistadrut threatens public-sector strike
Discussions will continue between the two parties in an attempt to close the gap between the 10.5 percent cumulative wage hike demanded by the Histadrut and the 1.5% offered by the Finance Ministry. The Histadrut has been threatening to strike beginning Tuesday of next week.
After the meeting, Steinitz told Army Radio that even though a deal was not reached on Friday, it was still possible to prevent the strike. "The meeting was in good spirits but the gaps are still large," Steinitz said. "At least we were able to map the boundaries and the field of battle. I think there is no room for a strike, because it will hurt everyone - civilians, the economy and the workers themselves," said the finance minister.
In negotiations with wage supervisor Ilan Levin, Histadrut Trade Union
Division chairman Avi Nissenkorn demanded a 3.5 percent pay raise for
about 750,000 public servants. The agreement would apply for three years – 2009,
2010 and 2011 – and constitute a cumulative wage hike of 10.5%. The
Finance Ministry has agreed to consider a salary increase of 0.5% for
each year, a cumulative 1.5% over three years.
If a last-minute compromise is not reached by the two parties by
Tuesday, the potential labor sanctions would include all government
ministries, local authorities (including garbage collection), government
companies, ports, trains, the Postal Authority, the National Insurance
Institute, the Israel Lands Administration and university
For now, schools are not expected to join the protest.Ron Friedman and Sharon Wrobel contributed to this report.