Histadrut, defense ministry reach wage accord

“Defense ministry employees worked without a wage agreement in the past 11 years,” says ministry director-general Udi Shani.

defense ministry salaries 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
defense ministry salaries 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Finance Ministry and the Histadrut Labor Federation on Monday struck a new collective wage agreement for defense ministry employees, putting an end to disrupted labor relations announced at the beginning of the year and kickstarting planned efficiency measures.
“Defense ministry employees worked without a wage agreement in the past 11 years,” said Udi Shani, director-general at the Defense Ministry. “Workers will be full partners in the streamlining and efficiency measures advanced by the Defense Ministry.”
Under the new four-year collective wage agreement – which was signed on Sunday between the Defense Ministry’s management, workers, Finance Ministry and Histadrut Labor Federation – Defense Ministry salaries of 2,200 workers will be raised by an average of 4.5 percent over two years. The salary increase will be progressive, which means that lower ranks in the ministry will get a higher raise of 8%, and the higher ranks will get a wage hike of 1.5% in three installments of which the last one will be in June 2011.
Defense Ministry salaries are among the highest in the public sector. According to the Finance Ministry’s annual report on civil service salaries, Defense Ministry employees earned an average gross monthly wage of NIS 18,300 in 2008, which is more than twice the national average.
In exchange for the salary hike, Defense Ministry employees will commit to cooperate with management in the ministry’s efficiency measures to merge its construction and development unit with the construction center of the Israel Defense Forces, and streamlining steps planned in the area of procurement. In addition, 270 senior Defense Ministry employees will agree to go into voluntary retirement. They will be replaced by 110 new hirings.
Last year, the Israeli defense establishment agreed to adopt efficiency recommendations drawn up by the international consulting firm McKinsey in agreement with the Brodet Committee’s recommendations to save NIS 30 billion over the coming 10 years. The multi-year program, which is expected to save taxpayers up to NIS 1.62b. annually, includes cuts in human capital within the ministry, a 30% cut in the ministry’s delegation in New York, and savings on procurement, construction and maintenance.