Dozens of employees from the cash-strapped Hadassah
hospital in Jerusalem demonstrated Monday morning outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official residence, calling on him to intervene in the row triggered when staff were not paid in January.
Employees received a partial advance for their February salary but are demanding immediate payment
of their January wages.
Protesting support staff and nurses carried signs saying, "No wages, no work." Some of the demonstrators briefly blocked traffic around the residence.
Guy Rechamim, who has worked in the oncology department at Hadassah for 17 years, called on the prime minister to intervene in negotiations between the hospital management and staff, after two weeks of staff walkouts and work stoppages.
"We call on the prime minister to get involved," he said. "It is of utmost importance that he enters the negotiations, if he doesn't we will be lost."
Support staff, nurses, and doctors demonstrating in front of Prime Minister's Residence (Photo: Barel Efraim)
"We received an advance this morning for February, but we haven't seen one shekel for January," he said.
Rechamim noted that Netanyahu was recently a patient
at the hospital, and called on him to translate him gratitude to staff into practical assistance.
"When he visited he was treated as a VIP, he didn't stop thanking the employees, now it's time he turns his words into action."
Naomi Schorr, a nurse at Hadassah for 40 years, said: "Since 2008 we have warned about the dire situation. In the past we have donated a portion of our salaries, we have waived vacation days and paychecks. Senior management raked in the cash, while the little employees paid the price."
She explained that the working conditions in the hospital are at a low: "Today we have four nurses for every 100 children, there's almost no time to eat or drink."
Another meeting between Hadassah management and the striking doctors ended without progress Sunday night. The doctors decided to continue the strike,
and many hospital workers left their posts after the demonstrators decided to leave the hospital with enough staff to only treat emergencies.
Yaron Kellner contributed to this report