Prosecutors set to go on strike

They will not attend court or parole deliberations, or building and planning committee meetings.

November 16, 2010 01:52
2 minute read.
Haredim at the Emmanuel 'pirate' school court hear

Haredim court 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The lawyers in the Justice Ministry’s state prosecution are due to go on strike on Tuesday for the first time, saying their wage conditions have deteriorated badly.

The strike will paralyze all court procedures involving the state and be of unlimited duration.

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Civil and criminal attorneys will not appear in court, file documents addressed to the court or participate in hearings of statutory committees, including parole hearings and hearings of building and planning committees, the national organization of state prosecutors said in a statement.

“During the past 10 years there has been a dramatic change in the internal organization of the State Attorney’s Office and its manpower and also in the work conditions of the attorneys. The change has serious hurt the work and salaries of the prosecutors vis-à-vis other civil servants, who, until the last 10 years, had been in a similar situation regarding their monthly pay,” the organization wrote.

In 1984, after arbitration, the prosecutors were given a number of special benefits because of the particularly draining and stressful work they perform, the statement said. For example, they were credited with 3 percent of their pension each year, while most civil servants received 2%. They were also given salary supplements for clothing, being on call and other special duties and requirements.

In the past decade, the organization continued, the prosecutors had lost most of these benefits. Today they accumulate only 2% of their pension for each year of work, and their salaries have fallen compared to other groups with which they were once on a par. These have received pay raises of 24% to 30% during this period, the attorneys complained.

Another complaint is that after the first 10 years of employment, prosecutors have nowhere to advance because they reach their highest grade. Furthermore, while the number of employees in the state prosecution has doubled over the past years, the number of openings for senior positions has remained the same. Prosecutors are barred from taking on private work to augment their salaries The Finance Ministry called on the prosecutors to postpone the strike and continue negotiating.

“During a meeting [on Monday], the head of salaries told the representatives of the prosecutors that the state held in high esteem and admired the work of the prosecutors and wished to advance a number of issues they had raised, including car allowances and the development of specialization and paths for advancement,” a Finance Ministry spokesman said.

He called on the prosecutors to conduct intensive negotiations in the coming two weeks.

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