The government offered an increase of 0.2% for 2005-06 and 0.2% for 2007-08. The Histadrut Labor Federation wants a 13% pay increase
Histadrut Labor Federation Chairman Ofer Eini instructed late last week trade unions and workers' committees to prepare for a general strike in the public sector as early as Tuesday.
It is understood that a meeting held between Eini and Ministry of Finance Director of Wages Eli Cohen to discuss public sector wages ended in less than hour because of a deep gap between their positions on new public sector salary agreements.
It is understood that the government offered an increase of 0.2% for 2005-06 and 0.2% for 2007-08. The Histadrut Labor Federation wants a 13% pay increase. At the end of the meeting Eini said that: "The proposal made by the Finance Ministry cannot be takenseriously, it's ridiculous and pitiful”.
The general strike, if approved, would covers over 1 million workers and could include employees in government offices, the Bank of Israel, ports, trains, Ben-Gurion Airport, the postal service, some hospitals and government companies such as Israel Electric Corp.
Cohen warned that a 10% public sector wage increase demanded by the Histadrut would cost the government NIS 8 billion in additional budget spending next year and was poised to lead to a wage increase at a cost of billions of shekels for the business sectoras a whole.