(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Employees of the Public Security Ministry left work for the day on Sunday to
participate in a labor protest outside the ministry in Jerusalem.
Histadrut national labor federation said the measures followed a Finance
Ministry decision not to provide incentive pay to the workers, the increasing
use of individual contracts and an impasse in negotiations over additional work
and responsibilities heaped on the staff members.
“We will not let the
Finance Ministry ignore the workers who give all their energy to the security of
the public,” Histadrut Jerusalem chairman Danny Bonfil said.
Ministry condemned the strike, saying it had not made any commitments on
incentive pay or additional salary, as its negotiations with the Histadrut over
the issues remained incomplete.
“There’s a prohibition on striking and
clear arbitration requirements for salary incentive requests, and this strike is
a flagrant violation,” a spokesman said. “Furthermore, it’s unfortunate that the
workers chose sanctions when meetings were scheduled for the coming
The union activity is the latest in a recent wave of steps the
Histadrut has enacted against government bodies in recent weeks, as the Finance
Ministry prepares to slash a legally mandated NIS 14 billion from the upcoming
2013 state budget.
In mid-February, the Histadrut brought out 150 workers
from the Public Security Ministry, Prime Minister’s Office and the Foreign
Ministry to protest wage erosion in front of the Foreign Ministry.
following day, the Histadrut called a labor dispute against local authorities
over the use of contract workers and individual contracts, which offer staff
less job security than collective agreements. A week later, it pulled parking
inspectors from their duties and declared an official labor dispute.
last Thursday, in one manic day, the union declared labor disputes at the
Foreign Ministry and the Basketball Super League and organized a walkout at Zim
Integrated Shipping Services.
Histadrut spokeswoman Dafna Cohen-Nouriel
said the recent surge of activity had only to do with the issues at hand, and
not positioning ahead of tough budget negotiations.
“This isn’t a
There is still no agreement on contract workers and the
state still hasn’t begun negotiations to deal with the individual contracts in
the public sector, and we oppose that inaction,” she said.