National Labor Court discussion of medical residents resigna.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
A petition filed by medical residents against a National Labor Court ruling
preventing their collective resignations will be heard before a panel of three
High Court justices, after negotiations with the Finance Ministry proved
“The limited dialogue that took place did not produce
results,” Justice Hanan Melcer announced late Sunday afternoon, as he said he
would now advance the petition to a hearing before a panel. Melcer asked for
that decision to be brought to the attention of Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu (formally health minister), Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Deputy
Health Minister Ya’acov Litzman.
Justice Melcer’s decision came after
lawyers for both the state and the residents informed the High Court on Sunday
they had failed to move forward in the negotiations set out by the court October
The six residents named on the petition asked the High Court to
intervene after the National Labor Court forbade them from resigning
The petitioners argue their resignation letters are not
part of any collective dispute, as the Labor Court had ruled, but were personal
decisions to leave their posts.
The National Labor Court’s ruling, they
said in the petition, amounts to “modern day slavery” and violates the Basic Law
on Freedom of Employment.
They also contended their working conditions
contravened the law, the Labor Court had injured their basic rights and the
ruling had been fundamentally flawed.
However, during a preliminary
hearing on the petition last month Melcer had recommended residents return to
‘focused’ negotiations with the Finance Ministry in order to avoid a legal
ruling on the petition, which the justice warned would be “sharp.” On Sunday,
residents and state representatives told the High Court they had had only three
meetings of three hours each, and those had not produced results.