Court deems resignations of medical residents illegal

1,000 residents ordered to return to work after Labor Court says failure to do so constitutes "unauthorized abandonment of their jobs."

doctor strike haifa_311 (photo credit: Piotr Fliter/Ramban Medical Center)
doctor strike haifa_311
(photo credit: Piotr Fliter/Ramban Medical Center)
In a unanimous ruling, the National Labor Court issued an injunction on Sunday morning ordering 1,000 residents who signed letters of resignation to report to work as usual.
The court ruled that the resignations signed by the residents are illegal and therefore invalid. "Failure to report to work as stated will constitute an unauthorized abandonment of their jobs by the workers, and will be subject to the appropriate consequences," the court ruled.
Hospitals in crisis mode as residents set to resign
The nonprofit Mirsham group, which means prescription and represents 800 medical residents had already predicted that the court would deem the resignations illegal on Saturday. “After the hearing and what I heard went on, we believe that they are going to decide against us, but I hope not,” Yaniv Yogev, a lawyer and CEO of Mirsham, told The Jerusalem Post on Saturday night. “If they decide against us I strongly believe that the decision will be overruled in the Supreme Court.”
“This is a very slippery slope. Each doctor signed a personal letter of resignation,” Yogev said. “Forcing them to go to work – that’s slavery.”
The Health Ministry had on Wednesday called the resignations “invalid,” requiring the residents to report to work, while the initial state petition had decided that the moves “could cause severe harm to members of the public.”
While the courts “are trying to look at the resignation as a strike,” Yogev argued that in reality, “it’s not a collective resignation, but everybody resigned together.”
“They will try to say it’s a collective resignation and therefore that it’s a strike, and a strike is illegal,” he explained.
“We will consider trying to replace them – trying to form an organization intending to represent the young residents who are misrepresented,” Yogev said. “We wanted to work with the IMA, but they’re not letting us. They didn’t let us be part of the negotiations, or have a say.”