Medical residents cancel negotiations with Treasury

Residents say that proposal from Finance Ministry is neither new nor realistic; nurses at Wolfson leave wards in protest of overcrowding.

Doctors demo311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Doctors demo311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Representatives of medical residents involved in a labor dispute announced Saturday evening that they would not meet with the Finance Ministry for continued negotiations on Sunday as planned, Army Radio reported.
According to the residents, there is no new or realistic proposal on the table for improving their work conditions.
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A Finance Ministry representative said Friday that the ministry offered the residents a raise of NIS 3,000 per month in exchange for 30 extra work hours, Army Radio reported.Two weeks ago, a mass resignation by medical residents was stopped by court injunction, sending the young doctors back to work.
The National Labor Court ruled at the time that the mass resignations of over 500 residents, as well as the resignation letters by 200 more who did not actually quit, were illegal and would have endangered the public. Court President Nili Arad said that as the doctors are “normative and law abiding,” she was sure that they would observe her ruling and return to work.
The residents, in hospitals of in the center of the country only, have been objecting to the nine-year labor contract signed by the Israel Medical Association together with the employers in late August.
The young doctors have been demanding higher wages, a shortening of the labor contract and other conditions, including that young specialists cannot be required to work night and weekend shifts. Despite the tie-up orders, negotiations on a better deal for the residents will continue, the government said.
The residents were organizing a protest Sunday evening in hopes of increasing pressure on the state. Medical students were also expected to join the protests, saying they would go on strike to delay the start of the school year in medical schools.
Meanwhile on Sunday, nurses at Holon Medical Center declared a work dispute and began walking out of the hospital's internal wards.
The nurses complained that they are forced to care for a number of patients which surpasses levels agreed upon with hospital management and the Health Ministry.
The Wolfson nurses have repeatedly threatened such walkouts, leaving their wards on Monday of last week.