Local Councils Fail to Pay June Wages

Thirty-three local councils and municipalities failed to pay June salaries, according to a Histadrut labor federation report submitted to the National Labor Court. Four other local councils have paid their employees only partial wages, and religious council workers have not received any compensation for June. The report was submitted in advance of a National Labor Court hearing today called by the Histadrut to discuss the issue of withheld salaries in the public sector.

The Histadrut is asking the court to instruct the treasury and the Interior Ministry to uphold the agreement, which was also signed by the director general of the Prime Minister's Office, Ra'anan Dinur. According to the agreement, the government will dismiss any heads of local councils who fail to pay wages to more than 25 percent of their employees for two months. The agreement was granted the authority of a court ruling after the Histadrut's last labor strike.

The Histadrut also asks that the court deliberate on the draft arrangement of local council debts to pension funds, provident funds and continuing education funds, which according to state data total NIS 330 million.

Histadrut chairman Ofer Eini said there has been "positive progress" in firing of local council heads who are not paying employee wages, and appointment of ad hoc committees in their stead, as was done in Taibeh. Eini expressed hope new hearings in the National Labor Tribunal would accelerate this trend and thus make sanctions effective.