Tel Aviv to raise employees' salaries - by the bunch

Municipal employees will receive extra wages for working on the city's 2009 birthday celebrations. Opponents call the decision 'illogical'

TA city Hall 88 224 (photo credit: Jerusalem Post Archives)
TA city Hall 88 224
(photo credit: Jerusalem Post Archives)
A plan by city officials to promote hundreds of municipal employees in one lot as part of Tel Aviv's 100th birthday celebrations is angering some councilors and residents, reports the Hebrew weekly Yediot Tel Aviv. The promotions would cost the public purse an estimated NIS 100 million, doubling the already controversial cost of the celebrations. According to the report, city manager Menahem Leibe and employees' organization head Rami Ben Gal have come up with a plan to reward several hundred municipal employees for their work as part of the 2009 birthday celebrations. Almost 11,000 people work for the city (including employees at the Ichilov Medical Center) and they enjoy reportedly "excellent" social conditions and benefits, including generous vacations and access to shows and events. Promotions would not only bring about a direct pay rise, but would entitle the recipients to increased benefits, such as mobile telephones and municipal cars, and would cost an estimated total of NIS 100 million. Deputy Mayor and Greens faction leader Pe'er Visner said the public was already angry that the city had allocated NIS 100 million to the 100th birthday celebrations, and would not stomach a doubling of this cost. He said public money should not be used to benefit municipal employees in this way, and requests for promotions should not be connected to the birthday celebrations, but should be considered individually and on merit. "It is not logical to give 500 or 600 workers promotions en masse like this," he said. And other councilors said the city comptroller should investigate the issue. A municipal spokesman said the idea was still being discussed and no decision had yet been made.