Wages Director Demands Salary Data From Universities

The Finance Ministry's Director of Wages Ilan Levin demanded this week that university presidents reveal all the details of the salaries and pensions they pay their employees, whether administrative staff or faculty.

The request came in the wake of a damning report from State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss on the salary excesses in higher education.

Levin is threatening to use "the authority granted to him by law," if the presidents do not provide him the information. In the past the universities have refused to fully disclose compensation payment data to both the wages director and the state comptroller.

The comptroller's report revealed a culture of salary and pension payments skewing from normal public sector rules, which apply to the universities as the they receive most of their funding from the state. But, Lindenstrauss also harshly criticized past wages directors for not demanding all the necessary information in the past and not acting against the universities.

Levin asked for information on a multitude of special wage conditions, such as enlarged pensions and administrative staff who receive wage benefits reserved only for senior teaching faculty.

Levin also wants to know how research fund money is given out, and according to what criteria, as Lindenstrauss found serious flaws as research funds were used for inappropriate purposes, as well as a lack of oversight.

In addition, Levin wants a list of those employees who received extra pay for their success in raising funds for the institutions. Levin's department found that the highest paid employees in the universities, who make over NIS 100,000 a month, are those rewarded for their fundraising work.