Defense Ministry Workers Earn Most in Civil Service

However, report projects a rise in teachers' wages throughout the upcoming years.

The average wage of public sector employees in 2008 was NIS 12,654 - 60% more than the overall national average of NIS 7,922, according to a report on civil-service salaries published yesterday by the Finance Ministry's supervisor of wages Ilan Levine.

Defense Ministry salaries were particularly high. The report indicated that Defense Ministry employees grossed an average of NIS 18,300, more than twice the national average, and 45% more than the average civil-service wage.

Teachers' wages increased in 2008 by a 8.4%, or 3.6% in inflation adjusted terms, and now total NIS 9,116. This includes a supplement awarded to teachers in the framework of the New Horizon reform.

The top earners in the civil service were Assaf Harofeh's director of legal medicine, Prof. Yehuda Hiss, and Prof. Shlomo Noy, director of Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, who each earn salaries of NIS 66,000 per month.

Noy said that the figures were misleading: "The figure absolutely does not reflect my salary as the director of Sheba, but additional professional work that I perform outside of my work there, as a psychiatrist for the Transportation Ministry's supreme appeals committees. The Transportation Ministry granted me a personal appointment to serve on the committees on behalf of the state, and the two jobs, which are paid on the same pay slip, add up to the amount reported."

A spokesman on behalf of Sheba Medical Center added that Prof. Zeev Rotstein, who is ranked no. 13 on the list of top civil-service earners, also earns a salary through a second job, in his work on various committees at the Transportation Ministry.

Majority employed under a collective wage agreement

The report included central findings on the salary cost for the state's 144,980 civil-service employees in 2008 - 57,189 workers employed in government ministries (including 22 state hospitals), and 87,791 teachers included in the civil-service. The report also specified the various salary rankings within the IDF, police force and prison services.

The report found that the vast majority of government ministry workers (94.3%) are employed under collective wage agreement contracts. Only 5.7% of the workers, 3,147 employees, work under special personal contracts.

Levine's report indicated that teaching personnel salaries rose in 2008 by more than 8%. The increase is partially due to the initialization of the New Horizon wage reform, and partially from wage agreements signed during 2008.

"Future wages reports will also show an increase in teachers' salaries in Israel. We hope that we will be able to expand the reform and promote a wage agreement that will benefit high school teachers as well."

Levine submitted the report to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Deputy Finance Minister Yitzhak Cohen, Knesset chairman Reuvin Rivlin and Civil Service Commissioner Shmuel Hollander.