State Rejects Israeli Medical Residents' Bid for Talks Without Preconditions

Medical residents proposed return to talks if August deal scrapped; states claims proposal ignores earlier High Court request to focus talks on residents only.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahyu's government on Thursday rejected medical residents' offer to renew talks with with no preconditions for a limited period of two weeks.

The government said it would return to negotiations with over the residents' working conditions only if the collective agreement reached in August with the Israel Medical Association was upheld.

Medical resident reps at supreme courts - Emil Salman - October 26 2011
Emil Salman

Government representatives claimed that the medical residents' proposal in a petitioned filed at the High Court  of Justice contradicted Justice Hanan Meltzer’s earlier request to focus negotiations on issues related to medical residents and not to discuss any additional matters.

The government also claimed that residents’ demands to open the agreement that was signed with the Israel Medical Association at the end of August is problematic.

A change to duration or cost of the agreement, “will not lead to improvement in the health service, but will lead to the breakdown of the achievements and to even more serious upsets that will carry serious consequences for other public sector collective agreements,” the government said.

Six residents petitioned the High Court of Justice earlier this week after the National Labor Court revoked their resignations. But on Tuesday, Melzer asked them whether they would agree to resume talks with the treasury in an effort to resolve their differences over the new collective wage agreement signed with the Israel Medical Association this summer, and gave them a day to answer.