On Thursday, the Histadrut labor federation and the Finance Ministry announced that a new public sector wage agreement had been made.
This would deliver a raise of 11% to government workers in the next four years. The workers have not been given a raise in about five years.
Therefore, the union had been seeking a salary increase of 15% for them in the face of mounting inflation.
While the 11% is less than the demanded 15%, the deal also includes a reduction in working hours. Instead of 42 hours, workers will now have a 40-hour work week.
In addition, the April salary of every worker will also include a grant of NIS 6,000. There will be gradual implementation of the salary increase, with the first one coming in June of about NIS 400.
In exchange, the union has promised that until 2027, there will be industrial quiet and state employers will be able to introduce worker mobility and technology for improving services to the citizens.
This is aimed at watering down the laws meant for worker protection. The statement said that they would work on the details later.
A separate deal
They also made a separate deal for boosting the salaries of teaching assistants, who are not members of the teachers union, and work in local councils.
New assistants will see their basic salary rise from NIS 6,200 to NIS 7,200 a month. A seniority bonus would also be given for every year of experience, which is about NIS 50.
It appears that the agreement was an amicable one and there had been no threats of a strike nationwide, which had happened the last time the agreement was made in 2015.
Arnon Bar-David, the chairman of Histadrut, announced the deal and called it a historic accomplishment.
He said that the public sector had hundreds of thousands of workers and this deal marked a festive and historic day for them and they could not exaggerate its importance.
He added that the public sector had been supporting the recovery of Israel’s economy through the increased cost of living, the economic upheaval as well as tough years of dealing with a global epidemic.
The chairman said that it was time for the public sector workers to get some good news because they deserved an appropriate reward for the work they had done with dedication to benefit the citizens of Israel.
The head of the Finance Ministry’s budget department, Yogev Gardus, also talked about the wage agreement.
He said that the agreement had been correct and responsible, both for the public sector workers as well as for the economy.