City plans salary, staff cuts for employees

The city of Hod Hasharon is planning to cut the salaries of about 100 senior employees - including department and branch managers - by five to 10 percent to give it a saving of up to NIS 2 million in this year's budget, reports And about 50 municipal employees, including senior ones, may find themselves without a job altogether as the city embarks on an "efficiency program" this year. According to the report, the planned "efficiency program" includes reductions in the advertising and spokespeople's budgets, the cancellation of additional training programs (hishtalmuyot), and savings in salaries through reductions in staff numbers and in benefits to employees. Some older employees will be encouraged to take early retirement, and the city is not planning to hire replacements. The city is also raising its property tax rates, with the authorization of the Interior Ministry, to increase its revenues. The report said the city councilors and senior officials held a meeting last week to discuss the efficiency program, and the report said rumors have been flying as to which senior officials are likely to get the axe. "The atmosphere in City Hall today is not one in which it is fun to work," one unidentified employee said.