11,000 Government Hospital Workers, Promised Raise, Return to Work

Striking administrative and maintenance employees returned to work at 29 government hospitals Wednesday. They ended their 10-day strike on the basis of a proposal by Histadrut that they be paid an advance of 200 Shekels against future wage increases while a special committee calculates how much the increases should be.

Equity of pay between government hospital employees and their peers at the hospitals of Kupat Holim, the Histadrut sick-fund, was the main issue of the strike that idled 11,000 workers for nearly two weeks. A body known as the Padeh Committee, established several years ago to investigate wage inequities, will be called upon again.

The strikers said they relied on Histadrut to ensure that the back-to-work proposals would be fulfilled. But Israel Radio reported Wednesday that Finance Minister Moshe Nissim will not agree to the advance payment of 200 Shekels or to reactivate the Padeh Committee until all of the strikers are back on the job and guarantee no further walk-outs.

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