Treasury, Histadrut haggle over Ministry HQ move

Health Ministry employees say union won't allow them to transfer to new Jerusalem tower until it receives all demands.

Health Ministry 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Health Ministry 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A tall office building in the Romema quarter of Jerusalem that can be seen from much of western and northern parts of the capital is ready to become the Health Ministry’s headquarters instead of rented apartment buildings in the San Simon and Talpiot neighborhoods, in King David Street and three other facilities.
But the scheduled moving day has passed, and numerous employees claim their works union will not allow the transfer until it receives all its demands such as underground parking for all employees with cars and payment for “getting used to” the new facility.
However, union chief Nissim Levy, who was contacted by The Jerusalem Post, refused to comment on Wednesday night. When asked what he does in the ministry besides heading the works committee, Levy said: “I clean toilets. Wherever the ministry operates from, I will clean toilets.”
But according to official ministry sources, Levy is a staff driver and does not have any cleaning or maintenance duties.
The ministry too was tightlipped, saying only that 880 employees will move from various Jerusalem units to the new tower behind the Central Bus Station in Rehov Yirmiyahu (a short distance from The Jerusalem Post. )
Among the units are senior management, the legal department, public health, epidemiology and others. A similar tower adjacent to it belongs to other ministries’ units, including those from the Finance Ministry, the Justice Ministry, the Welfare and Social Services Ministry and Nativ (contact with Russian Jewry).
The Health Ministry spokeswoman said that “there will be parking places for all” after a survey of car owners was carried out a year ago. In recent days, the ministry said, the works committees of all the affected ministries presented additional demands that are now being discussed with the Treasury and the Histadrut.
She did not say whether the staff are refusing to move or not but did say that “adjustment pay” has been approved for the staff.
The integration of the Jerusalem headquarters, she concluded, will “contribute to improved service and efficiency.”