Israel: Nurses Threaten To Desert Hospital Wards December 11, 2012 4:17 am
Negotiations with the Nurses Union broke down today, after its chairwoman Ilana Cohen was infuriated when the Ministry of Finance Director of Wages Kobi Amsalem and his deputy did not turn up for a meeting, sending junior officials instead.
“When nurses are collapsing under the burden, and patients’ lives are at risk due to the severe shortage of nurses, the Ministry of Finance decided to waste time and not hold the continuous negotiations required by this national emergency,” said Cohen. “There is a limit to the exploitation of nurses, and the work conditions, which harm their ability to provide patients with proper care.”
Cohen gave the Ministry of Finance an ultimatum, saying, “If, within hours, there is no decision to hold real negotiations until we reach a result, we will intensify the industrial action to the point of abandoning the wards.”
A few minutes after Cohen’s announcement, the Ministry of Finance decided to sharpen its tone, instead of calming things down. Ministry officials posted on the ministry’s Facebook page the pay slip of a nurse with 28 years seniority. The pay slip shows that she earned a gross salary of NIS 22,000 in October, and that her average annual gross monthly salary was NIS 28,000. The nurse in question is a matron at a hospital in Haifa. The Nurses Union said that this was a very unrepresentative example.
It should be noted that nurses are drawing encouragement from last year’s struggle by specialist doctors, who won grants of tens of thousands of shekels on top of the labor agreement signed by the Israel Medical Association. The victory was achieved after the doctors abandoned wards and collectively resigned. The Nurses Union believes that the Ministry of Finance’s unwillingness to agree to substantial pay hikes is encouraging radicalism.
Source: GLOBES ISRAEL