IBA asks highly paid workers to accept a 5% salary cut

Aware of the frustrations of Israel Broadcasting Authority employees whose work conditions are dictated by collective agreements, IBA director-general Motti Shklar has asked all private contract employees earning in excess of NIS 16,000 per month to voluntarily take a pay cut of 5 percent. The request went last week to some 70 senior anchors, reporters and managers whose salaries have been unaffected by the drastic measures that the management has taken in a massive cost cutting exercise aimed at saving the IBA from closure. The income of people on collective agreements has shrunk considerably since the cancellation of overtime and other payments that used to supplement their basic salaries, which in any event are considerably lower than those of employees on private contracts. Yinon Magal, one of the two anchors of Channel 1's main evening Mabat News, earns NIS 50,000 per month. His co-anchor, Merav Miller, because she has less experience, makes slightly less, while many employees on collective agreements earn NIS 5,000 to NIS 10,000 per month. Believing that it was unfair for the IBA minions to have to bear the brunt of budget cuts, Shklar set an example by volunteering a 5% reduction in his own salary. The IBA's spokesman's office said it was doubtful there would be a positive response to Shklar's request unless the 5% cuts would enable a significant reduction in income tax that would make the reduction worthwhile in net income terms. While all kinds of financial impositions can be made on people on collective wage agreements, similar deprivations cannot be forced onto people on private contracts, the IBA representative said. Moreover, the source in the spokesman's office said: "Far better to take a cut in salary now than not to have a salary in the future."