No Progress in Talks Between Medical Residents and Treasury

Resident representatives say treasury offer irrelevant, offers more money for extra overtime, without any possibility of actually working those hours.

Negotiations between medical residents and the Finance Ministry once again reached a deadlock on Monday, after reports of progress in recent days. No solution is on the horizon for the crisis in the public health system.

In Monday's negotiations at the Israel Medical Association's offices in Ramat Gan, new differences of opinion came to light between the two sides, after the treasury proposed additional wages to young specialists for overtime without requiring them to work exclusively in public hospitals. A ministry official said the residents turned down this offer too, and want unconditional raises for no extra work.

The next negotiating session is scheduled for Sunday.

Representatives of the residents said the treasury's offers are irrelevant, since they offered more money for extra overtime, without any possibility of actually working those hours. "The treasury's offer does not relate to the doctors' low base salaries," said representatives of the residents.

The Finance Ministry turned down all the residents' requests at the meeting, including providing transportation after night shifts; extra pay for work on Fridays beyond the quota set in the agreement, set at 13 Fridays a year; and payments for duty shifts for specialists doing further training in an additional speciality.

Progress was made on providing residents with one day off a week and for establishing a committee to examine the agreement after three years. The treasury is also willing to pay residents extra for more than six duty shifts a month - but only in three years. The residents want the payments to start immediately.