FADC okays benefits bill for reservists

According to bill, duty to be limited to 54 days every 3 years, reservists to get at least NIS 5,300 a month.

reservist 224.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
reservist 224.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee (FADC) approved the second and third readings of a bill to grant benefits to IDF reservists, Monday. The bill is expected to be passed to the plenum for second and third reading this week, before members of Knesset go on the Passover holiday. According to the bill, pushed by Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i, reserve duty will be limited to 54 days every three years for regular soldiers and 84 days for officers. Reservists will also be paid a salary of at least NIS 5,300 a month and be given tax benefits. The sum is 68 percent of an average salary in Israel. In addition, the size of a reservist call-up in a time of emergency will be determined by the cabinet, according the recommendation of the defense minister. Furthermore, each year the defense minister will present to the cabinet and the FADC the level of preparedness required from reservists. Uzi Dayan, head of the recently established Tafnit political party (currently not in the Knesset), said the bill is "an advancement over the current situation, and as such I am happy about it, but the bill as it stands is still partial and tightfisted … we still need to fight over several issues to relieve the burden significantly. We want reservists to receive a salary as high as the average in the market, and also that they be paid for service on Fridays and Saturdays." Dayan was one of the initiators of the private bill, submitted through Meretz MK Avshalom Vilan Brig.-Gen. [Res.] Ariel Hyman, formerly OC reserve forces, said that the bill's passing the FADC on Monday was "remarkable news for the State of Israel and the reserve soldiers, a bill regulating for the first time the unwritten agreement between Israel and its reservists. Some would say things could be better than they are, but I prefer to look at what we did achieve in this case." Representatives of reservists' organization praised the bill but urged MKs to hear their reservations when the law goes to the plenum on Wednesday. The bill will be brought for final approval on Wednesday.