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Nurses' strike ends with 'historic' deal

Treasury, Nurses' Union ink deal meant to end 17-day strike. Nurses' wages to be increased by 14% over next 4.5 years

Noam (Dabul) Dvir
Published: 12.20.12, 08:50 / Israel News

After 17 days, the Treasury and the Nurses' Union have formulated a new wage deal meant to end the nurses' nationwide strike.

 

The nurses are expected to resume their duties Thursday.

 

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After a seven-hour, overnight hearing at the Labor Court, the parties signed an agreement meant to increase that nurses wages by 14% over the next four and a half years.

 

The deal has been dubbed "historic" and will see an across-the-board wage increase to the nurses' wages.


אילנה כהן (במרכז) ועמיתותיה בבית הדין לעבודה (צילום: אוהד צויגנברג)

Nurses' Union Chair Ilana Cohen (center) with colleagues (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)

 

The Treasury said the overall, wages will see an increase of NIS 1,000-6,000 (roughly $260-1500), according to seniority; adding that 1% of the new funds would be allotted to "professional solutions" for various issues the nurses mentioned in the negotiations.

 

According to the Health Ministry, the 17-day strike caused the delay of 110,000 infant vaccinations, 55,000 schoolchildren vaccinations and 24,000 routine prenatal follow-ups, as well as some 9,000 cancelled surgeries.

 

Israel has some 58,360 nurses and orderlies and the damage caused to the health system by the strike is estimated in millions of shekels.

 

The number of nurses in Israel has been steadily declining over the past few years, and according to OECD data, it is currently among the lowest noted in developed nations.

 

The number of nurses in Israel currently stands at 4.9 nurses per 1,000 patients. Only South Korea and Mexico rank worse – 4.7 and 2.5, respectively.

 

According to the OECD, Switzerland tops the nurses-per-patients ratio with 16 to 1,000, followed by Denmark, Germany, Japan, Australia, Britain, the Netherlands, Hungary, Spain and Poland.

 

 

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