High Court debates doctors' petition for resignations

Five doctors try to overturn court ruling that resignations are collective therefore illegal, invalid; group argues that it's "modern day slavery."

Doctors demo311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Doctors demo311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The High Court of Justice began debating Tuesday afternoon a petition filed by five doctors, asking the High Court to annul the National Labor Court's ruling earlier this month that the doctors' resignations were invalid.
One of the five was Dr. Yona Weissbuch, a resident at the Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva and chairman of Mirsham, the advocacy group that campaigned for the doctors' resignations.
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In its ruling, the National Labor Court said that doctors' resignations were collective in nature and constituted an illegal strike, and issued a sweeping injunction ordering doctors to return to work.
However, the petition argued that the National Labor Court's ruling amounted to "modern day slavery" and violated the Basic Law on Freedom of Employment.
The petitioners also contended their resignation letters were personal and not part of any collective dispute; that their working conditions contravene the law; that the Labor Court has injured their basic rights; and that the Labor Court ruling had been 'fundamentally flawed'.
In its 64-page response to the doctors' petition submitted to the High Court on Monday evening, the state countered that the doctors' resignations constituted collective organizational measures.
"This is not a fight for the future of public health, but a demand for a salary increase," the state said in that response.
On Monday over 1,000 medical residents were joined by students at all the medical schools in the country at a demonstration held outside Beit Ariela in Tel Aviv.
The students skipped their first day classes to demonstrate their support for medical residents who were demanding higher wages and better conditions.

Judy Siegel-Itzkovich and Jpost.com staff contributed to this report