Wages Director: We'll Grant State Workers Only a Tiny Raise

Labor federation thought to be seeking a 5-7% increase, but treasury's red line has been cited as 3%.

Could the treasury's position on public sector wages be farther from the Histadrut labor federation's demands than previously thought?

"We're willing to give public servants a small raise, equal to a few fractions of a percent every year," Finance Ministry wages supervisor Ilan Levin said Friday. "The salary agreement needs to be modest."

Levin was referring to the negotiations between the ministry and the Histadrut, which began last week in an effort to reach a new salary agreement for the 700,000 civil servants.

"I expect the negotiations will reach a sane price," he said, speaking at an event at the Land of Israel Museum moderated by TheMarker's Nehemia Shtrasler. "If it winds up costing billions of shekels, that will mean the end of economic planning. It's true that the last salary agreement, for 2008-2009, mandated a 5% raise, but that came after a long period without any increases."

The Histadrut is thought to be seeking a 5% to 7% increase. For now, the treasury's red line has been cited as 3%.

Every 1% increase translates into another NIS 1 billion in state expenses.