Residents to court: We want to quit, not more talks

High Court holds hearing on medical residents resignations; justices are critical of tactics.

Israeli Supreme Court 311 (photo credit: REUTERS/FILE)
Israeli Supreme Court 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/FILE)
Medical residents told the High Court of Justice Thursday that they were not interested in futher talks and want to be allowed to resign, responding to a request for clarification from the court. Earlier, justices criticized the residents for resigning before the court ruled in their case.
The petitioners argue their resignation letters are not part of any collective dispute, as the National Labor Court had ruled, but were personal decisions to leave their posts, which they say they have a right to do.
RELATED:Health Ministry looks to get residents back to work Residents appeal to High Court after talks fail Court to hear residents' resignation petitionThe petition the court was hearing was filed against the Labor Court ruling preventing their collective resignations after negotiations with the Finance Ministry proved fruitless.
The National Labor Court’s ruling, they said in the petition, amounts to “modern day slavery” and violates the Basic Law on Freedom of Employment.
They also contended their working conditions contravened the law, the Labor Court had injured their basic rights and the ruling had been fundamentally flawed.
Earlier Thursday, Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch criticized the medical residents who resigned this week, telling them, "We should have rejected your petition based on a lack of integrity, but we did not do so because of the special situation," she said.
Justice Hanan Melcer also criticized the residents, asking them: "Couldn't you have waited a few days with the abandonment [of the hospitals]?"
"You appealed to the High Court. There is a culture when one appeals to the High Court, one waits for the hearing," he added.
Beinisch, Melcer and Justice Esther Hayut sat on the High Court panel that convened Thursday to discuss the medical residents' petition to be allowed to resign legally.
During a preliminary hearing on the petition last month Melcer had recommended residents return to ‘focused’ negotiations with the Finance Ministry in order to avoid a legal ruling on the petition, which the justice warned would be “sharp.”
On Sunday, residents and state representatives told the High Court they had had only three meetings of three hours each, and those had not produced results.