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Nurses Continue Their Strike

Representatives of 11,000 striking hospital nurses walked out of a meeting at Histadrut headquarters here Wednesday evening shortly after a compromise seemed to have been reached to end the strike which began June 23. Nevertheless, hope was expressed that the end of the strike may be imminent.

It hinges on whether the strike committee accepts the negotiations formula proposed by Histadrut Secretary General Israel Kessar. The nurses representatives who left the talks said they would have to report to their strike committee.

A sticking point is what the nurses termed the government’s unwillingness to consider payment for their “annual summer vacation” taken during the past two weeks. That terminology was adopted to get around the hospitals’ refusal to pay the nurses for the days they were away from their jobs.

The strike was called originally to obtain recognition of the hospital nurses’ union as their sole bargaining agent. When that point was won, however, the strikers demanded that the government agree to negotiate wage increases, larger nursing staffs and better working conditions.