Doctors Topped List for Public Sector Salaries in 2011, Treasury Report Finds

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The average gross salary for people employed by government authorities, such as local authorities, government-owned companies and religious councils, was NIS 13,539 in 2011 - 58% higher than the average wage nationally, a report released on Sunday by Finance Ministry Wages Commissioner Kobi Amsalem showed.

Still, they made less than the average gross salary of NIS 14,321 a month earned by civil servants, the report said.

The top wage earners in the public sector in 2011 were again dominated by doctors and other medical personnel. The two top salaries were earned by department heads at hospitals belonging to the Clalit Health Services health maintenance organization, who earned NIS 107,716 and NIS 100,180 a month. The cost of their salaries was NIS 129,280 and NIS 122,046, respectively.

Nearly all of the top 15 wage earners in the public sector were doctors, the report said. But the highest average overall wage for anybody were the port workers, with their wages rising 7% to 10% in 2011. But that is only part of the story.

Between 2009 and 29011, the average wage at Eilat port climbed 22% to NIS 20,343, with the total cost of compensation reaching NIS 24,80O. Other port workers enjoyed smaller rises, but not much smaller. At Haifa, wages rose 18.9% in the two years to an average of NIS 27,331, the report said. In Ashdod, port workers saw salaries climb 17.45% to an average of NIS 26,422.

At the Israel Ports Company, wages grew in single digits annually and the number of employees declined to 125, but no fewer than 27 of them won a place among the top 1,000 wage earners. At the top was deputy CEO for construction, who earned NIS 66,000, slightly more than boss, CEO Shlomo Briman, who pulled in NIS 65,580 a month in 2011.

At state-owned Israel Electric Corporation, top managers awarded themselves 10% bonuses in 2011, other workers enjoyed only slightly smaller pay raises of 8.3% to an average of NIS 29,656. Nevertheless, the number of IEC employees in the top 1,000 wage earners list fell to 84 in 2011 from 110 the year before, the report showed.

At the top of the IEC wage earners was an unidentified division head who made NIS 66,351 a month in 2011. Next was Moshe Bachar, a deputy CEO, with a gross wage of NIS 63,965.

But lower-level workers didn't do badly either. One IEC driver was making NIS 49,680 before taxes in 2011. Service workers dealing with emergency situations were compensated generously, with one earning NIS 54,134 a month gross. That meant he was earning about NIS 4,000 more than IEC's CEO, Yiftah Ron-Tal, who grossed NIS 50,720 monthly in 2011.

56 directors general earned NIS 40,300

The report revealed that 56 government officials have the title of director-general or the compensation terms equivalent to one, which entitled them in 2011 to a salary NIS 40,300 a month. They can have an automobile and driver, who in 2011 collected an average gross salary of NIS 16,200 a month.

The highest paid official - earning more than the prime minister (NIS 46,600 a month) or president (NIS 53,400 ) of the country - was the chief actuary at the Finance Ministry, whose gross monthly pay in 2011 was NIS 68,300. The chief scientist in the Industry, Trade and Employment Ministry was not far behind at NIS 66,700.

Many well-paid civil servants are entitled to income supplements because of a distorted set of criteria in need of a complete overhaul, Amsalem said, blaming legislative flaws and the failure to take into account certain paycheck components.

As a result, public sector employees earning an average pay of NIS 10,000 a month were designated as being in the minimum-wage income bracket. The minimum wage, which has been NIS 4,100 a month since July 1, 2011, serves as the basis for awarding income supplements.

Based on ministry figures, 52% of workers at local councils who in fact earned NIS 7,220 a month in 2011 received income supplements, while at municipal corporations 3% of the workers earning NIS 7,023 a month received the income boost. The average pay was NIS 9,845 among the 33% of employees working at municipal associations who were classified as making less than minimum wage.

The actual pay for the 21% of government corporation employees receiving income supplements came to NIS 10,435 a month. Likewise, 48% of staffers of the religious councils earning an average NIS 6,909 were getting supplements.

Doctor illustration.Credit: Kalkala
Top public sector wage earners.Credit: Haaretz