Yuval Steinitz 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file[)
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz expressed optimism on Thursday that a general
strike in the public service, scheduled for next week, will be
During a visit at the Carmel Academic Center in Haifa, Steinitz
said that he has faith in the Histadrut labor federation’s leadership and that
the sides could come to an arrangement during their Friday morning meeting that
would avoid the strike.
“The Histadrut has a serious and responsible
leadership, which has proven over the last two years that it sees not only the
need to protect workers, but also the need to promote the Israeli economy during
an international crisis that the world hasn’t seen the likes of in 70 years,”
said Steinitz. “I am convinced that we can reach agreements and compromises and
avoid a strike that can damage the economy and the citizens of Israel. The gaps
are large, but there is responsibility, both on our part and on the part of the
Three weeks ago, Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini declared a work
dispute over wages in the public sector.
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. It 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.
labor sanctions, in case Friday’s meeting doesn’t deliver results, 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