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A regional labor court yesterday disqualified the appointments of seven Clalit Health Maintenance Organization executives. The Histadrut labor federation and Clalit's union had filed suit against the appointments, claiming Clalit had made them without any tender. In one case, Clalit made Eti Rosenberg head of its nursing division, a position directly responsible to the CEO. Six other nursing directors were appointed in various hospitals.

Clalit countered that Rosenberg's position, being administrative, didn't require a tender. The HMO also asserted that the Histadrut was trying to renege on previous agreements, according to which the appointment of nursing directors would be exempt from tenders.

The Histadrut said it had never agreed to such a thing. "The behavior of Clalit using underhanded opportunism to fill the seven senior positions violates proper administration, as well as the existing labor laws in Clalit."

Judge Netta Roth, together with two public representatives, accepted the position of the Histadrut and the union and ruled that Clalit was indeed obliged to issue a tender to appoint the head of the nursing division and the nursing heads of the other hospitals and clinics.

In rejecting Clalit's argument, the court said: "The essence of the tender is to allow choosing the most appropriate candidate while maintaining the principle of equality." This principle held true for the nationwide role Clalit plays considering it employees 30,000 people, the ruling said.